Articles | Volume 8, issue 4
Research article 07 Aug 2017
Research article | 07 Aug 2017
Breaking supercontinents; no need to choose between passive or active
Martin Wolstencroft and J. Huw Davies
No articles found.
Hein J. van Heck, J. Huw Davies, Tim Elliott, and Don Porcelli
Geosci. Model Dev., 9, 1399–1411,Short summary
Currently, extensive geochemical databases of surface observations exist, but satisfying explanations of underlying mantle processes are lacking. We have implemented a new way to track both bulk compositions and concentrations of trace elements in a mantle convection code. In our model, chemical fractionation happens at evolving melting zones. We compare our results to a semi-analytical theory relating observed arrays of correlated Pb isotope compositions to melting age distributions.
D. R. Davies, J. H. Davies, P. C. Bollada, O. Hassan, K. Morgan, and P. Nithiarasu
Geosci. Model Dev., 6, 1095–1107,
Related subject area
GeodynamicsImpact 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 preconditionersThe preserved plume of the Caribbean Large Igneous Plateau revealed by 3D data-integrative modelsThe role of Edge-Driven Convection in the generation of volcanism I: a 2D systematic studyGravity modeling of the Alpine lithosphere affected by magmatism based on seismic tomographyCombined 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 pilesTimescales of chemical equilibrium between the convecting solid mantle and over-/underlying magma oceansDeciphering 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 slabsThe 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 breakupPacific plate slab pull and intraplate deformation in the early CenozoicDid Adria rotate relative to Africa?The sensitivity of GNSS measurements in Fennoscandia to distinct three-dimensional upper-mantle structuresTesting the effects of basic numerical implementations of water migration on models of subduction dynamicsOptimal locations of sea-level indicators in glacial isostatic adjustment investigationsLithosphere and upper-mantle structure of the southern Baltic Sea estimated from modelling relative sea-level data with glacial isostatic adjustmentPractical analytical solutions for benchmarking of 2-D and 3-D geodynamic Stokes problems with variable viscosityShort-lived tectonic switch mechanism for long-term pulses of volcanic activity after mega-thrust earthquakesThe dynamics of laterally variable subductions: laboratory models applied to the HellenidesExhumation of (ultra-)high-pressure terranes: concepts and mechanismsDynamics of interplate domain in subduction zones: influence of rheological parameters and subducting plate ageSubduction to the lower mantle – a comparison between geodynamic and tomographic modelsInsight into collision zone dynamics from topography: numerical modelling results and observations
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.
Ángela María Gómez-García, Eline Le Breton, Magdalena Scheck-Wenderoth, Gaspar Monsalve, and Denis Anikiev
Solid Earth Discuss.,
Revised manuscript accepted for SE
Antonio Manjón-Cabeza Córdoba and Maxim Ballmer
Solid Earth Discuss.,
Revised manuscript accepted for SE
Davide Tadiello and Carla Braitenberg
Solid Earth Discuss.,
Revised manuscript accepted for SE
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.
Daniela Paz Bolrão, Maxim Dionys Ballmer, Adrien Morison, Antoine Billy Rozel, Patrick Sanan, Stéphane Labrosse, and Paul James Tackley
Solid Earth Discuss.,
Revised manuscript accepted for SEShort summary
We use numerical models to investigate the thermo-chemical evolution of a solid mantle during magma-ocean stage. When applied to the Earth, our study shows that the solid mantle and a magma ocean tend to chemical equilibration before crystallisation of this magma ocean. Hence, 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.
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.
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,
N. P. Butterworth, R. D. Müller, L. Quevedo, J. M. O'Connor, K. Hoernle, and G. Morra
Solid Earth, 5, 757–777,
D. J. J. van Hinsbergen, M. Mensink, C. G. Langereis, M. Maffione, L. Spalluto, M. Tropeano, and L. Sabato
Solid Earth, 5, 611–629,
H. Steffen and P. Wu
Solid Earth, 5, 557–567,
M. E. T. Quinquis and S. J. H. Buiter
Solid Earth, 5, 537–555,
H. Steffen, P. Wu, and H. Wang
Solid Earth, 5, 511–521,
H. Steffen, G. Kaufmann, and R. Lampe
Solid Earth, 5, 447–459,
I. Yu. Popov, I. S. Lobanov, S. I. Popov, A. I. Popov, and T. V. Gerya
Solid Earth, 5, 461–476,
M. Lupi and S. A. Miller
Solid Earth, 5, 13–24,
B. Guillaume, L. Husson, F. Funiciello, and C. Faccenna
Solid Earth, 4, 179–200,
C. J. Warren
Solid Earth, 4, 75–92,
Solid Earth, 3, 467–488,
B. Steinberger, T. H. Torsvik, and T. W. Becker
Solid Earth, 3, 415–432,
A. D. Bottrill, J. van Hunen, and M. B. Allen
Solid Earth, 3, 387–399,
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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.
A key aspect of plate tectonics is the periodic assembly and subsequent break-up of...