Articles | Volume 5, issue 1
26 Jun 2014
Research article | 26 Jun 2014
Testing the effects of basic numerical implementations of water migration on models of subduction dynamics
M. E. T. Quinquis and S. J. H. Buiter
No articles found.
Susanne J. H. Buiter, Sascha Brune, Derek Keir, and Gwenn Peron-Pinvidic
Continental rifts can form when and where continents are stretched. Rifts are characterised by faults, sedimentary basins, earthquakes and/or volcanism. If rifting can continue, a rift may break a continent into conjugate margins such as along the Atlantic and Indian Oceans. In some cases, however, rifting fails, such as in the West African Rift. We discuss continental rifting from inception to break-up, focussing on the processes at play, and illustrate these with several natural examples.
Frank Zwaan, Guido Schreurs, Susanne Buiter, Oriol Ferrer, Riccardo Reitano, Michael Rudolf, and Ernst Willingshofer
Solid Earth Discuss.,
Revised manuscript under review for SEShort summary
When a sedimentary basin is subjected to compressional tectonic forces after its formation, it may be inverted. A thorough understanding of such “basin inversion” is of great importance for scientific, societal and economic reasons, and analogue tectonic models form a key part of our efforts to study these processes. We review the advances in the field of basin inversion modelling, showing how the modelling results can be applied, and we identify promising venues for future research.
Hazel Gibson, Sam Illingworth, and Susanne Buiter
Geosci. Commun., 4, 437–451,Short summary
In the spring of 2020, in response to the escalating global COVID-19 Coronavirus pandemic, the European Geosciences Union (EGU) moved its annual General Assembly online in a matter of weeks. This paper explores the feedback provided by participants who attended this experimental conference and identifies four key themes that emerged from analysis of the survey (connection, engagement, environment, and accessibility). The responses raise important questions about the format of future conferences.
Frank Zwaan, Guido Schreurs, and Susanne J. H. Buiter
Solid Earth, 10, 1063–1097,Short summary
This work was inspired by an effort to numerically reproduce laboratory models of extension tectonics. We tested various set-ups to find a suitable analogue model and in the process systematically charted the impact of set-ups and boundary conditions on model results, a topic poorly described in existing scientific literature. We hope that our model results and the discussion on which specific tectonic settings they could represent may serve as a guide for future (analogue) modeling studies.
J. L. Tetreault and S. J. H. Buiter
Solid Earth, 5, 1243–1275,Short summary
Continents are composed of a collage of accreted terranes: tectonically sutured crustal units of various origins. This review covers the cycle of terrane accretion from the original entity (modern-day oceanic island arcs, oceanic plateaus, submarine ridges, seamounts, continental fragments, and microcontinents) to present-day examples of terrane accretion to finally allochthonous accreted terranes.
Related subject area
GeodynamicsThermal non-equilibrium of porous flow in a resting matrix applicable to melt migration: a parametric study101 geodynamic modelling: how to design, interpret, and communicate numerical studies of the solid EarthCrustal structure of the Volgo–Uralian subcraton revealed by inverse and forward gravity modellingOn the choice of finite element for applications in geodynamicsA new finite element approach to model microscale strain localization within olivine aggregatesInterpolation of magnetic anomalies over an oceanic ridge region using an equivalent source technique and crust age model constraintCoupled dynamics and evolution of primordial and recycled heterogeneity in Earth's lower mantleBuoyancy versus shear forces in building orogenic wedgesComparing global seismic tomography models using varimax principal component analysisMagma ascent mechanisms in the transition regime from solitary porosity waves to diapirismAnalytical solution for residual stress and strain preserved in anisotropic inclusion entrapped in an isotropic hostGravity effect of Alpine slab segments based on geophysical and petrological modellingThe role of edge-driven convection in the generation of volcanism – Part 1: A 2D systematic studyGravity modeling of the Alpine lithosphere affected by magmatism based on seismic tomographyTimescales of chemical equilibrium between the convecting solid mantle and over- and underlying magma oceansThe preserved plume of the Caribbean Large Igneous Plateau revealed by 3D data-integrative modelsImpact of upper mantle convection on lithosphere hyperextension and subsequent horizontally forced subduction initiationPragmatic solvers for 3D Stokes and elasticity problems with heterogeneous coefficients: evaluating modern incomplete LDLT preconditionersCombined numerical and experimental study of microstructure and permeability in porous granular mediaMapping undercover: integrated geoscientific interpretation and 3D modelling of a Proterozoic basinMonitoring crustal CO2 flow: methods and their applications to the mofettes in West BohemiaOn the self-regulating effect of grain size evolution in mantle convection models: application to thermochemical pilesDeciphering the metamorphic evolution of the Pulo do Lobo metasedimentary domain (SW Iberian Variscides)The impact of rheological uncertainty on dynamic topography predictionsThe effect of effective rock viscosity on 2-D magmatic porosity wavesDensity distribution across the Alpine lithosphere constrained by 3-D gravity modelling and relation to seismicity and deformationPore-scale permeability prediction for Newtonian and non-Newtonian fluids3-D crustal density model of the Sea of MarmaraOblique rifting: the rule, not the exceptionGHOST: Geoscientific Hollow Sphere TessellationA high-resolution lithospheric magnetic field model over southern Africa based on a joint inversion of CHAMP, Swarm, WDMAM, and ground magnetic field dataMechanical models to estimate the paleostress state from igneous intrusionsDensity structure and isostasy of the lithosphere in Egypt and their relation to seismicityThe effect of obliquity on temperature in subduction zones: insights from 3-D numerical modelingEffects of upper mantle heterogeneities on the lithospheric stress field and dynamic topographyNonlinear viscoplasticity in ASPECT: benchmarking and applications to subductionTie points for Gondwana reconstructions from a structural interpretation of the Mozambique Basin, East Africa and the Riiser-Larsen Sea, AntarcticaAnalytical solution for viscous incompressible Stokes flow in a spherical shellThe effect of sediment loading in Fennoscandia and the Barents Sea during the last glacial cycle on glacial isostatic adjustment observationsGlobal patterns in Earth's dynamic topography since the Jurassic: the role of subducted slabsBreaking supercontinents; no need to choose between passive or activeThe subduction dichotomy of strong plates and weak slabsThe deep Earth origin of the Iceland plume and its effects on regional surface uplift and subsidenceNew data on geology of the Southern Urals: a concise summary of research after the period of EUROPROBE activityOn the thermal gradient in the Earth's deep interiorPhase change in subducted lithosphere, impulse, and quantizing Earth surface deformationsTectonic evolution and high-pressure rock exhumation in the Qiangtang terrane, central TibetEffective buoyancy ratio: a new parameter for characterizing thermo-chemical mixing in the Earth's mantleUsing the level set method in geodynamical modeling of multi-material flows and Earth's free surfaceAsymmetry of high-velocity lower crust on the South Atlantic rifted margins and implications for the interplay of magmatism and tectonics in continental breakup
Laure Chevalier and Harro Schmeling
Solid Earth, 13, 1045–1063,Short summary
Fluid flow through rock occurs in many geological settings on different scales, at different temperature conditions and with different flow velocities. Fluid is either in local thermal equilibrium with the host rock or not. We explore the parameters of porous flow and give scaling laws. These allow us to decide whether porous flows are in thermal equilibrium or not. Applied to magmatic systems, moving melts in channels or dikes moderately to strongly deviate from thermal equilibrium.
Iris van Zelst, Fabio Crameri, Adina E. Pusok, Anne Glerum, Juliane Dannberg, and Cedric Thieulot
Solid Earth, 13, 583–637,Short summary
Geodynamic modelling provides a powerful tool to investigate processes in the Earth’s crust, mantle, and core that are not directly observable. In this review, we present a comprehensive yet concise overview of the modelling process with an emphasis on best practices. We also highlight synergies with related fields, such as seismology and geology. Hence, this review is the perfect starting point for anyone wishing to (re)gain a solid understanding of geodynamic modelling as a whole.
Igor Ognev, Jörg Ebbing, and Peter Haas
Solid Earth, 13, 431–448,Short summary
We present a new 3D crustal model of Volgo–Uralia, an eastern segment of the East European craton. We built this model by processing the satellite gravity data and using prior crustal thickness estimation from regional seismic studies to constrain the results. The modelling revealed a high-density body on the top of the mantle and otherwise reflected the main known features of the Volgo–Uralian crustal architecture. We plan to use the obtained model for further geothermal analysis of the region.
Cedric Thieulot and Wolfgang Bangerth
Solid Earth, 13, 229–249,Short summary
One of the main numerical methods to solve the mass, momentum, and energy conservation equations in geodynamics is the finite-element method. Four main types of elements have been used in the past decades in hundreds of publications. For the first time we compare results obtained with these four elements on a series of geodynamical benchmarks and applications and draw conclusions as to which are the best ones and which are to be preferably avoided.
Jean Furstoss, Carole Petit, Clément Ganino, Marc Bernacki, and Daniel Pino-Muñoz
Solid Earth, 12, 2369–2385,Short summary
In the first part of this article, we present a new methodology that we have developed to model the deformation and the microstructural evolutions of olivine rocks, which make up the main part of the Earth upper mantle. In a second part, using this methodology we show that microstructural features such as small grain sizes and preferential grain orientations can localize strain at the same intensity and can act together to produce an even stronger strain localization.
Duan Li, Jinsong Du, Chao Chen, Qing Liang, and Shida Sun
Solid Earth Discuss.,
Revised manuscript not acceptedShort summary
Oceanic magnetic anomalies are generally carried out using only few survey lines and thus there are many areas with data gaps. Traditional interpolation methods based on the morphological characteristics of data are not suitable for data with large gaps. The use of dual-layer equivalent-source techniques may improve the interpolation of magnetic anomaly fields in areas with sparse data which gives a good consideration to the extension of the magnetic lineation feature.
Anna Johanna Pia Gülcher, Maxim Dionys Ballmer, and Paul James Tackley
Solid Earth, 12, 2087–2107,Short summary
The lower mantle extends from 660–2890 km depth, making up > 50 % of the Earth’s volume. Its composition and structure, however, remain poorly understood. In this study, we investigate several hypotheses with computer simulations of mantle convection that include different materials: recycled, dense rocks and ancient, strong rocks. We propose a new integrated style of mantle convection including
streaksthat agrees with various observations of the deep Earth.
Lorenzo G. Candioti, Thibault Duretz, Evangelos Moulas, and Stefan M. Schmalholz
Solid Earth, 12, 1749–1775,Short summary
We quantify the relative importance of forces driving the dynamics of mountain building using two-dimensional computer simulations of long-term coupled lithosphere–upper-mantle deformation. Buoyancy forces can be as high as shear forces induced by far-field plate motion and should be considered when studying the formation of mountain ranges. The strength of rocks flooring the oceans and the density structure of the crust control deep rock cycling and the topographic elevation of orogens.
Olivier de Viron, Michel Van Camp, Alexia Grabkowiak, and Ana M. G. Ferreira
Solid Earth, 12, 1601–1634,Short summary
As the travel time of seismic waves depends on the Earth's interior properties, seismic tomography uses it to infer the distribution of velocity anomalies, similarly to what is done in medical tomography. We propose analysing the outputs of those models using varimax principal component analysis, which results in a compressed objective representation of the model, helping analysis and comparison.
Janik Dohmen and Harro Schmeling
Solid Earth, 12, 1549–1561,Short summary
In partially molten regions within the Earth, the melt is able to move separately from the surrounding rocks. This allows for the emergence of so-called solitary porosity waves, driven by compaction and decompaction due to the melt with higher buoyancy. Our numerical models can predict whether a partially molten region will ascend dominated by solitary waves or diapirism. Even in diapiris-dominated regions, solitary waves will build up and ascend as a swarm when the ascend time is long enough.
Xin Zhong, Marcin Dabrowski, and Bjørn Jamtveit
Solid Earth, 12, 817–833,Short summary
Elastic thermobarometry is an useful tool to recover paleo-pressure and temperature. Here, we provide an analytical model based on the Eshelby solution to calculate the residual stress and strain preserved in a mineral inclusion exhumed from depth. The method applies to ellipsoidal, anisotropic inclusions in infinite isotropic hosts. A finite-element method is also used for a facet effect. Volumetrically averaged stress is shown to be a good proxy for the overall heterogeneous stress stage.
Maximilian Lowe, Jörg Ebbing, Amr El-Sharkawy, and Thomas Meier
Solid Earth, 12, 691–711,Short summary
This study estimates the gravitational contribution from subcrustal density heterogeneities interpreted as subducting lithosphere beneath the Alps to the gravity field. We showed that those heterogeneities contribute up to 40 mGal of gravitational signal. Such density variations are often not accounted for in Alpine lithospheric models. We demonstrate that future studies should account for subcrustal density variations to provide a meaningful representation of the complex geodynamic Alpine area.
Antonio Manjón-Cabeza Córdoba and Maxim D. Ballmer
Solid Earth, 12, 613–632,Short summary
The study of intraplate volcanism can inform us about underlying mantle dynamic processes and thermal and/or compositional anomalies. Here, we investigated numerical models of mantle flow and melting of edge-driven convection (EDC), a potential origin for intraplate volcanism. Our most important conclusion is that EDC can only produce moderate amounts of mantle melting. By itself, EDC is insufficient to support the formation of voluminous island-building volcanism over several millions of years.
Davide Tadiello and Carla Braitenberg
Solid Earth, 12, 539–561,Short summary
We present an innovative approach to estimate a lithosphere density distribution model based on seismic tomography and gravity data. In the studied area, the model shows that magmatic events have increased density in the middle to lower crust, which explains the observed positive gravity anomaly. We interpret the densification through crustal intrusion and magmatic underplating. The proposed method has been tested in the Alps but can be applied to other geological contexts.
Daniela Paz Bolrão, Maxim D. Ballmer, Adrien Morison, Antoine B. Rozel, Patrick Sanan, Stéphane Labrosse, and Paul J. Tackley
Solid Earth, 12, 421–437,Short summary
We use numerical models to investigate the thermo-chemical evolution of a solid mantle during a magma ocean stage. When applied to the Earth, our study shows that the solid mantle and a magma ocean tend toward chemical equilibration before crystallisation of this magma ocean. Our findings suggest that a very strong chemical stratification of the solid mantle is unlikely to occur (as predicted by previous studies), which may explain why the Earth’s mantle is rather homogeneous in composition.
Ángela María Gómez-García, Eline Le Breton, Magdalena Scheck-Wenderoth, Gaspar Monsalve, and Denis Anikiev
Solid Earth, 12, 275–298,Short summary
The Earth’s crust beneath the Caribbean Sea formed at about 90 Ma due to large magmatic activity of a mantle plume, which brought molten material up from the deep Earth. By integrating diverse geophysical datasets, we image for the first time two fossil magmatic conduits beneath the Caribbean. The location of these conduits at 90 Ma does not correspond with the present-day Galápagos plume. Either this mantle plume migrated in time or these conduits were formed above another unknown plume.
Lorenzo G. Candioti, Stefan M. Schmalholz, and Thibault Duretz
Solid Earth, 11, 2327–2357,Short summary
With computer simulations, we study the interplay between thermo-mechanical processes in the lithosphere and the underlying upper mantle during a long-term (> 100 Myr) tectonic cycle of extension–cooling–convergence. The intensity of mantle convection is important for (i) subduction initiation, (ii) the development of single- or double-slab subduction zones, and (iii) the forces necessary to initiate subduction. Our models are applicable to the opening and closure of the western Alpine Tethys.
Patrick Sanan, Dave A. May, Matthias Bollhöfer, and Olaf Schenk
Solid Earth, 11, 2031–2045,Short summary
Mantle and lithospheric dynamics, elasticity, subsurface flow, and other fields involve solving indefinite linear systems. Tools include direct solvers (robust, easy to use, expensive) and advanced iterative solvers (complex, problem-sensitive). We show that a third option, ILDL preconditioners, requires less memory than direct solvers but is easy to use, as applied to 3D problems with parameter jumps. With included software, we hope to allow researchers to solve previously infeasible problems.
Philipp Eichheimer, Marcel Thielmann, Wakana Fujita, Gregor J. Golabek, Michihiko Nakamura, Satoshi Okumura, Takayuki Nakatani, and Maximilian O. Kottwitz
Solid Earth, 11, 1079–1095,Short summary
To describe permeability, a key parameter controlling fluid flows in the Earth’s subsurface, an accurate determination of permeability on the pore scale is necessary. For this reason, we sinter artificial glass bead samples with various porosities, determining the microstructure and permeability using both experimental and numerical approaches. Based on this we provide parameterizations of permeability, which can be used as input parameters for large-scale numerical models.
Mark D. Lindsay, Sandra Occhipinti, Crystal Laflamme, Alan Aitken, and Lara Ramos
Solid Earth, 11, 1053–1077,Short summary
Integrated interpretation of multiple datasets is a key skill required for better understanding the composition and configuration of the Earth's crust. Geophysical and 3D geological modelling are used here to aid the interpretation process in investigating anomalous and cryptic geophysical signatures which suggest a more complex structure and history of a Palaeoproterozoic basin in Western Australia.
Tomáš Fischer, Josef Vlček, and Martin Lanzendörfer
Solid Earth, 11, 983–998,Short summary
Data on CO2 degassing help understanding the relations of the gas flow on geodynamic processes. Long-term gas flow measurements in rough field conditions present a challenge due to technical problems. We describe methods used for CO2 flow monitoring in West-Bohemia/Vogtland, which is typical for high CO2 flow, and present a new robust method based on pressure measurements in a water column. The results of 10 years of CO2 flow measurements and their relation to seismic activity are discussed.
Jana Schierjott, Antoine Rozel, and Paul Tackley
Solid Earth, 11, 959–982,Short summary
We investigate the size of mineral grains of Earth's rocks in computer models of the whole Earth. This is relevant because grain size affects the stiffness (large grains are stiffer) and deformation of the Earth's mantle. We see that mineral grains grow inside stable non-deforming regions of the Earth. However, these regions are less stiff than expected. On the other hand, we find that grain size diminishes during deformation events such as when surface material comes down into the Earth.
Irene Pérez-Cáceres, David Jesús Martínez Poyatos, Olivier Vidal, Olivier Beyssac, Fernando Nieto, José Fernando Simancas, Antonio Azor, and Franck Bourdelle
Solid Earth, 11, 469–488,Short summary
The metamorphism of the Pulo do Lobo unit (SW Iberian Massif) is described in this paper. To this end, three different and complementary methodologies have been applied. The new results reported here contribute to the knowledge of the metamorphic conditions of the Pulo do Lobo unit in relation to its deformation. Furthermore, the results are compared in order to assess the reliability of the different methods applied.
Ömer F. Bodur and Patrice F. Rey
Solid Earth, 10, 2167–2178,Short summary
Convection in the deep Earth dynamically changes the elevation of plates. Amplitudes of those vertical motions predicted from numerical models are significantly higher than observations. We find that at small wavelengths (< 1000 km) this misfit can be due to the oversimplification in viscosity of rocks. By a suite of numerical experiments, we show that considering the non–Newtonian rheology of the mantle results in predictions in amplitude of dynamic topography consistent with observations.
Janik Dohmen, Harro Schmeling, and Jan Philipp Kruse
Solid Earth, 10, 2103–2113,Short summary
In source regions of magmatic systems the temperature is above solidus and melt ascent is assumed to occur predominantly by two-phase flow. This two-phase flow allows for the emergence of solitary porosity waves. By now most solutions of these waves used strongly simplified viscosity laws, while in our laws the viscosity decreases rapidly for small melt fractions. The results show that for higher background porosities the phase velocities and the width of the wave are significantly decreased.
Cameron Spooner, Magdalena Scheck-Wenderoth, Hans-Jürgen Götze, Jörg Ebbing, György Hetényi, and the AlpArray Working Group
Solid Earth, 10, 2073–2088,Short summary
By utilising both the observed gravity field of the Alps and their forelands and indications from deep seismic surveys, we were able to produce a 3-D structural model of the region that indicates the distribution of densities within the lithosphere. We found that the present-day Adriatic crust is both thinner and denser than the European crust and that the properties of Alpine crust are strongly linked to their provenance.
Philipp Eichheimer, Marcel Thielmann, Anton Popov, Gregor J. Golabek, Wakana Fujita, Maximilian O. Kottwitz, and Boris J. P. Kaus
Solid Earth, 10, 1717–1731,Short summary
Prediction of rock permeability is of crucial importance for several research areas in geoscience. In this study, we enhance the finite difference code LaMEM to compute fluid flow on the pore scale using Newtonian and non-Newtonian rheologies. The accuracy of the code is demonstrated using several analytical solutions as well as experimental data. Our results show good agreement with analytical solutions and recent numerical studies.
Ershad Gholamrezaie, Magdalena Scheck-Wenderoth, Judith Bott, Oliver Heidbach, and Manfred R. Strecker
Solid Earth, 10, 785–807,Short summary
Based on geophysical data integration and 3-D gravity modeling, we show that significant density heterogeneities are expressed as two large high-density bodies in the crust below the Sea of Marmara. The location of these bodies correlates spatially with the bends of the main Marmara fault, indicating that rheological contrasts in the crust may influence the fault kinematics. Our findings may have implications for seismic hazard and risk assessments in the Marmara region.
Sascha Brune, Simon E. Williams, and R. Dietmar Müller
Solid Earth, 9, 1187–1206,Short summary
Fragmentation of continents often involves obliquely rifting segments that feature a complex three-dimensional structural evolution. Here we show that more than ~ 70 % of Earth’s rifted margins exceeded an obliquity of 20° demonstrating that oblique rifting should be considered the rule, not the exception. This highlights the importance of three-dimensional approaches in modelling, surveying, and interpretation of those rift segments where oblique rifting is the dominant mode of deformation.
Solid Earth, 9, 1169–1177,Short summary
I present the GHOST (Geoscientific Hollow Sphere Tessellation) software which allows for the fast generation of computational meshes in hollow sphere geometries counting up to a hundred million cells. Each mesh is composed of concentric spherical shells made of quadrilaterals or triangles. I focus here on three commonly used meshes used in the geodynamics/geophysics community and further benchmark the gravity and gravitational potential procedures in the simple case of a constant density.
Foteini Vervelidou, Erwan Thébault, and Monika Korte
Solid Earth, 9, 897–910,
Tara L. Stephens, Richard J. Walker, David Healy, Alodie Bubeck, and Richard W. England
Solid Earth, 9, 847–858,Short summary
We present mechanical models that use the attitude and opening angles of igneous sills to constrain stress axes, the stress ratio, and relative magma pressure during dilation. The models can be applied to any set of dilated structures, including dikes, sills, or veins. Comparison with paleostress analysis for coeval faults and deformation bands indicates that sills can be used to characterise the paleostress state in areas where other brittle deformation structures (e.g. faults) are not present.
Mikhail K. Kaban, Sami El Khrepy, and Nassir Al-Arifi
Solid Earth, 9, 833–846,Short summary
We present an integrative model of the crust and upper mantle of Egypt based on an analysis of gravity, seismic, and geological data. These results are essential for deciphering the link between the dynamic processes in the Earth system and near-surface processes (particularly earthquakes) that influence human habitat. We identified the distinct fragmentation of the lithosphere of Egypt in several blocks. This division is closely related to the seismicity patterns in this region.
Alexis Plunder, Cédric Thieulot, and Douwe J. J. van Hinsbergen
Solid Earth, 9, 759–776,Short summary
The thermal state of the Earth's crust determines how it reacts to tectonic forces and to fluid flow responsible for ore formation. We hypothesize that the angle between plate motion and convergent boundaries determines the thermal regime of subduction zones (where a plate goes under another one). Computer models and a geological reconstruction of Turkey were used to validate this hypothesis. This research was done to validate a hypothesis made on the basis of nonquantitative field data.
Anthony Osei Tutu, Bernhard Steinberger, Stephan V. Sobolev, Irina Rogozhina, and Anton A. Popov
Solid Earth, 9, 649–668,Short summary
The Earth's surface is characterized by numerous geological processes, formed throughout the Earth's history to present day. The interior (mantle), on which plates rest, undergoes convection motion, generating stresses in the lithosphere plate and also causing the plate motion. This study shows that shallow density heterogeneities in the upper 300 km have a limited influence on the modeled horizontal stress field as opposed to the resulting topography, giving the importance depth sampling.
Anne Glerum, Cedric Thieulot, Menno Fraters, Constantijn Blom, and Wim Spakman
Solid Earth, 9, 267–294,Short summary
A nonlinear viscoplastic rheology is implemented and benchmarked in the ASPECT software, allowing for the modeling of lithospheric deformation. We showcase the new functionality with a four-dimensional model of thermomechanically coupled subduction.
Jennifer Klimke, Dieter Franke, Estevão Stefane Mahanjane, and German Leitchenkov
Solid Earth, 9, 25–37,Short summary
In this paper, we present a combined structural interpretation of multichannel reflection seismic profiles from offshore of northern Mozambique (East Africa) and the conjugate Riiser-Larsen Sea (Antarctica). At certain positions at the foot of the continental slope at both basins, the basement is intensely deformed and fractured. We propose this unique deformation zone as a tie point for Gondwana reconstructions.
Solid Earth, 8, 1181–1191,Short summary
I present a new family of analytical flow solutions to the incompressible Stokes equation in a spherical shell. The velocity is tangential to both inner and outer boundaries, the viscosity is radial, and the solution has been designed so that the expressions for velocity, pressure, and body force are simple to implement in (geodynamics) codes. This forms the basis of a numerical benchmark for convection codes, and I have implemented it in two finite-element codes.
Wouter van der Wal and Thijs IJpelaar
Solid Earth, 8, 955–968,Short summary
As ice sheets grow and shrink, they move rocks around. In Scandinavia the movement took place mostly from inland to offshore areas, resulting in ongoing uplift in Scandinavia and subsidence in offshore areas. This study calculated the changes in height and gravity and found that they are significant. Thus, effects of past sediment loading have to be taken into account when interpreting measurements of height and gravity change in areas close to former ice sheets with large sediment transport.
Michael Rubey, Sascha Brune, Christian Heine, D. Rhodri Davies, Simon E. Williams, and R. Dietmar Müller
Solid Earth, 8, 899–919,Short summary
Earth's surface is constantly warped up and down by the convecting mantle. Here we derive geodynamic rules for this so-called
dynamic topographyby employing high-resolution numerical models of global mantle convection. We define four types of dynamic topography history that are primarily controlled by the ever-changing pattern of Earth's subduction zones. Our models provide a predictive quantitative framework linking mantle convection with plate tectonics and sedimentary basin evolution.
Martin Wolstencroft and J. Huw Davies
Solid Earth, 8, 817–825,Short summary
A key aspect of plate tectonics is the periodic assembly and subsequent break-up of supercontinents. There is strong evidence that this has happened repeatedly over geological history, but exactly how a supercontinent breaks up is still debated. In this paper, we use computer modelling of Earth's interior to show that the force needed to break a supercontinent should always arise from a combination of global-scale passive
pulling apartand active
pushing apartforces driven by the mantle.
Robert I. Petersen, Dave R. Stegman, and Paul J. Tackley
Solid Earth, 8, 339–350,Short summary
In this study we propose a dichotomy in the strength profile of tectonic plates. This apparent dichotomy suggests that plates at the Earth's surface are significantly stronger, by orders of magnitude, than the subducted slabs in the Earth's interior. Strong plates promote single-sided, Earth-like subduction. Once subducted, strong slabs transmit dynamic stresses and disrupt subduction. Slabs which are weakened do not disrupt subduction and furthermore exhibit a variety of observed morphologies.
Nicholas Barnett-Moore, Rakib Hassan, Nicolas Flament, and Dietmar Müller
Solid Earth, 8, 235–254,Short summary
We use 3D mantle flow models to investigate the evolution of the Iceland plume in the North Atlantic. Results show that over the last ~ 100 Myr a remarkably stable pattern of flow in the lowermost mantle beneath the region resulted in the formation of a plume nucleation site. At the surface, a model plume compared to published observables indicates that its large plume head, ~ 2500 km in diameter, arriving beneath eastern Greenland in the Palaeocene, can account for the volcanic record and uplift.
Victor N. Puchkov
Solid Earth, 7, 1269–1280,Short summary
The period between 1991 and 2005 was a time when many western geologists came to the Urals to get a closer look at this famous and extraordinarily rich region. The main reason was an openness policy of the USSR government, when foreigners were admitted to this area that was formerly almost closed. The co-operation of the western geologists with local specialists was very fruitful. The author aimed to describe the most interesting findings in Uralian geology after the learned guests left.
Solid Earth, 7, 229–238,Short summary
This study aims to present a comparison of the thermal gradient in the Earth mantle computed from full-scale geodynamic thermal models and from the thermodynamic description provided by the Joule-Thomson (JT) formulation. The main result is that the thermal gradient from the JT model is in good agreement with the full-scale geodynamic models and it is better suited than the isentropic (adiabatic reversible) thermal model to describe temperature variations in the planetary interiors.
C. O. Bowin, W. Yi, R. D. Rosson, and S. T. Bolmer
Solid Earth, 6, 1075–1085,Short summary
This is a story about the ever-changing surface of our planet and how and why that happens. The first author was thanked by Hess (1960 preprint), but he only watched the theory’s growth from the sidelines. The 10 years that followed brought forth a deluge of evidence. Now 55 years later, no net torque amongst the plates remains, but still without a mechanism. Bowin (2010) demonstrated plate tectonics conserves angular momentum, but few appear to note its existence. This clarifies the mechanism.
Z. Zhao, P. D. Bons, G. Wang, A. Soesoo, and Y. Liu
Solid Earth, 6, 457–473,Short summary
The early Mesozoic tectonic history of the Qiangtang terrane in central Tibet is hotly debated. We argue that the north and south Qiangtang terranes were separated by an ocean (Paleo-Tethys) until the late Triassic. Subduction was mainly to the north, underneath the north Qiangtang terrane. The high-pressure rocks were exhumed in a lithospheric-scale core complex. Together with non-metamorphic sedimentary and ophiolitic mélange, these were finally thrust on top of the south Qiangtang.
A. Galsa, M. Herein, L. Lenkey, M. P. Farkas, and G. Taller
Solid Earth, 6, 93–102,Short summary
The effective buoyancy ratio was introduced as a diagnostic tool to characterize the evolution of the thermo-chemical mixing in the Earth’s mantle. This parameter tracks the fate of the primordial compositionally dense layer above the core–mantle boundary such as (i) the transition phase of warming dense layer; (ii) the erosion and dilution of the dense layer; (iii) the effective thermo-chemical convection (mixing of layers) and (iv) the homogenization.
B. Hillebrand, C. Thieulot, T. Geenen, A. P. van den Berg, and W. Spakman
Solid Earth, 5, 1087–1098,Short summary
Our paper demonstrates that the level set method is a viable method for material tracking in multi-material flow models. The different benchmarks illustate several advantages that the level set method provides over tracer-based methods. We therefore conclude that the level set method is well suited for geodynamical modeling.
K. Becker, D. Franke, R. Trumbull, M. Schnabel, I. Heyde, B. Schreckenberger, H. Koopmann, K. Bauer, W. Jokat, and C. M. Krawczyk
Solid Earth, 5, 1011–1026,
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