A sub-crustal piercing point for North Atlantic reconstructions and tectonic implications

Christian Schiffer*, Randell Stephenson, Kenni D. Petersen, Soren B. Nielsen, Bo H. Jacobsen, Niels Balling, David I. M. Macdonald

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

17 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Plate tectonic reconstructions are usually constrained by the correlation of lineaments of surface geology and crustal structures. This procedure is, however, largely dependent on and complicated by assumptions on crustal structure and thinning and the identification of the continent-ocean transition. We identify two geophysically and geometrically similar upper mantle structures in the North Atlantic and suggest that these represent remnants of the same Caledonian collision event. The identification of this structural lineament provides a sub-crustal piercing point and hence a novel opportunity to tie plate tectonic reconstructions. Further, this structure coincides with the location of some major tectonic events of the North Atlantic post-orogenic evolution such as the occurrence of the Iceland Melt Anomaly and the separation of the Jan Mayen microcontinent. We suggest that this inherited orogenic structure played a major role in the control of North Atlantic tectonic processes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1087-1090
Number of pages4
JournalGeology
Volume43
Issue number12
Early online date6 Nov 2015
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2015

Keywords

  • teleseismic receiver functions
  • deep seismic-reflection
  • mantle fault zones
  • continental lithosphere
  • subduction zones
  • East Greenland
  • British-Isles
  • Caledonides
  • Scotland
  • extension

Cite this

Schiffer, C., Stephenson, R., Petersen, K. D., Nielsen, S. B., Jacobsen, B. H., Balling, N., & Macdonald, D. I. M. (2015). A sub-crustal piercing point for North Atlantic reconstructions and tectonic implications. Geology, 43(12), 1087-1090. https://doi.org/10.1130/G37245.1

A sub-crustal piercing point for North Atlantic reconstructions and tectonic implications. / Schiffer, Christian; Stephenson, Randell; Petersen, Kenni D.; Nielsen, Soren B.; Jacobsen, Bo H.; Balling, Niels; Macdonald, David I. M.

In: Geology, Vol. 43, No. 12, 12.2015, p. 1087-1090.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Schiffer, C, Stephenson, R, Petersen, KD, Nielsen, SB, Jacobsen, BH, Balling, N & Macdonald, DIM 2015, 'A sub-crustal piercing point for North Atlantic reconstructions and tectonic implications', Geology, vol. 43, no. 12, pp. 1087-1090. https://doi.org/10.1130/G37245.1
Schiffer C, Stephenson R, Petersen KD, Nielsen SB, Jacobsen BH, Balling N et al. A sub-crustal piercing point for North Atlantic reconstructions and tectonic implications. Geology. 2015 Dec;43(12):1087-1090. https://doi.org/10.1130/G37245.1
Schiffer, Christian ; Stephenson, Randell ; Petersen, Kenni D. ; Nielsen, Soren B. ; Jacobsen, Bo H. ; Balling, Niels ; Macdonald, David I. M. / A sub-crustal piercing point for North Atlantic reconstructions and tectonic implications. In: Geology. 2015 ; Vol. 43, No. 12. pp. 1087-1090.
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AU - Balling, Niels

AU - Macdonald, David I. M.

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AB - Plate tectonic reconstructions are usually constrained by the correlation of lineaments of surface geology and crustal structures. This procedure is, however, largely dependent on and complicated by assumptions on crustal structure and thinning and the identification of the continent-ocean transition. We identify two geophysically and geometrically similar upper mantle structures in the North Atlantic and suggest that these represent remnants of the same Caledonian collision event. The identification of this structural lineament provides a sub-crustal piercing point and hence a novel opportunity to tie plate tectonic reconstructions. Further, this structure coincides with the location of some major tectonic events of the North Atlantic post-orogenic evolution such as the occurrence of the Iceland Melt Anomaly and the separation of the Jan Mayen microcontinent. We suggest that this inherited orogenic structure played a major role in the control of North Atlantic tectonic processes.

KW - teleseismic receiver functions

KW - deep seismic-reflection

KW - mantle fault zones

KW - continental lithosphere

KW - subduction zones

KW - East Greenland

KW - British-Isles

KW - Caledonides

KW - Scotland

KW - extension

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