TEMPORAL AND SPATIAL CORRELATIONS BETWEEN CHANGES IN PLATE MOTIONS AND THE EVOLUTION OF RIFTED BASINS IN AFRICA

M E JANSSEN, R A STEPHENSON, S CLOETINGH, Randell Stephenson

Research output: Contribution to journalLiterature review

73 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

We present the results of a backstripping study, incorporating over 200 wells in 14 different basins or groups of basins located on the African interior or continental margins. These results, presented as mean tectonic subsidence rates averaged over appropriate periods, are compared with the opening histories and changes in plate motions of the Atlantic and Indian Oceans and the Tethys-Mediterranean area for seven time-steps from the Late Jurassic until present. The results indicate a temporal and spatial correlation between phases of rapid subsidence in African basins and changes in plate motions and, therefore, are promising in terms of applicability of large-scale plate motions in the studies of paleo-stresses in sedimentary basins, especially at times of initial rifting and formation of subduction zones. Reactivation of the basins appears to be primarily controlled by the orientation of the basin and underlying basement structures with respect to the stress direction. The basins are preferably formed within weaker zones, mostly Pan-African shear zones, and the distance from the active plate boundary to the weak zone plays a minor role in whether or not it will be reactivated, The presence of three important hot spots, which were active during the early stages of break-up of Gondwana, may have been important in preweakening the lithosphere at their sites. This may have played an additional role in the localization of the basin deformation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1317-1332
Number of pages16
JournalGeological Society of America Bulletin
Volume107
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Nov 1995

Keywords

  • SOUTH-ATLANTIC OCEAN
  • INDIAN-OCEAN
  • TECTONIC EVOLUTION
  • TETHYS BELT
  • STRUCTURAL EVOLUTION
  • CONTINENTAL MARGINS
  • EURASIA COLLISION
  • INTERIOR SUDAN
  • SIRTE BASIN
  • SUBSIDENCE

Cite this

TEMPORAL AND SPATIAL CORRELATIONS BETWEEN CHANGES IN PLATE MOTIONS AND THE EVOLUTION OF RIFTED BASINS IN AFRICA. / JANSSEN, M E ; STEPHENSON, R A ; CLOETINGH, S ; Stephenson, Randell.

In: Geological Society of America Bulletin, Vol. 107, No. 11, 11.1995, p. 1317-1332.

Research output: Contribution to journalLiterature review

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abstract = "We present the results of a backstripping study, incorporating over 200 wells in 14 different basins or groups of basins located on the African interior or continental margins. These results, presented as mean tectonic subsidence rates averaged over appropriate periods, are compared with the opening histories and changes in plate motions of the Atlantic and Indian Oceans and the Tethys-Mediterranean area for seven time-steps from the Late Jurassic until present. The results indicate a temporal and spatial correlation between phases of rapid subsidence in African basins and changes in plate motions and, therefore, are promising in terms of applicability of large-scale plate motions in the studies of paleo-stresses in sedimentary basins, especially at times of initial rifting and formation of subduction zones. Reactivation of the basins appears to be primarily controlled by the orientation of the basin and underlying basement structures with respect to the stress direction. The basins are preferably formed within weaker zones, mostly Pan-African shear zones, and the distance from the active plate boundary to the weak zone plays a minor role in whether or not it will be reactivated, The presence of three important hot spots, which were active during the early stages of break-up of Gondwana, may have been important in preweakening the lithosphere at their sites. This may have played an additional role in the localization of the basin deformation.",
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N2 - We present the results of a backstripping study, incorporating over 200 wells in 14 different basins or groups of basins located on the African interior or continental margins. These results, presented as mean tectonic subsidence rates averaged over appropriate periods, are compared with the opening histories and changes in plate motions of the Atlantic and Indian Oceans and the Tethys-Mediterranean area for seven time-steps from the Late Jurassic until present. The results indicate a temporal and spatial correlation between phases of rapid subsidence in African basins and changes in plate motions and, therefore, are promising in terms of applicability of large-scale plate motions in the studies of paleo-stresses in sedimentary basins, especially at times of initial rifting and formation of subduction zones. Reactivation of the basins appears to be primarily controlled by the orientation of the basin and underlying basement structures with respect to the stress direction. The basins are preferably formed within weaker zones, mostly Pan-African shear zones, and the distance from the active plate boundary to the weak zone plays a minor role in whether or not it will be reactivated, The presence of three important hot spots, which were active during the early stages of break-up of Gondwana, may have been important in preweakening the lithosphere at their sites. This may have played an additional role in the localization of the basin deformation.

AB - We present the results of a backstripping study, incorporating over 200 wells in 14 different basins or groups of basins located on the African interior or continental margins. These results, presented as mean tectonic subsidence rates averaged over appropriate periods, are compared with the opening histories and changes in plate motions of the Atlantic and Indian Oceans and the Tethys-Mediterranean area for seven time-steps from the Late Jurassic until present. The results indicate a temporal and spatial correlation between phases of rapid subsidence in African basins and changes in plate motions and, therefore, are promising in terms of applicability of large-scale plate motions in the studies of paleo-stresses in sedimentary basins, especially at times of initial rifting and formation of subduction zones. Reactivation of the basins appears to be primarily controlled by the orientation of the basin and underlying basement structures with respect to the stress direction. The basins are preferably formed within weaker zones, mostly Pan-African shear zones, and the distance from the active plate boundary to the weak zone plays a minor role in whether or not it will be reactivated, The presence of three important hot spots, which were active during the early stages of break-up of Gondwana, may have been important in preweakening the lithosphere at their sites. This may have played an additional role in the localization of the basin deformation.

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KW - EURASIA COLLISION

KW - INTERIOR SUDAN

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JO - Geological Society of America Bulletin

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