Extensional basin geometry and the elastic lithosphere

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doi: 10.1098/rsta.1999.0351
Authors:Ebinger, C. J.; Jackson, J. A.; Foster, A. N.; Hayward, N. J.
Author Affiliations:Primary:
University of Leeds, School of Earth Sciences, Leeds, United Kingdom
University of Cambridge, United Kingdom
Volume Title:Response of the Earth's lithosphere to extension
Volume Authors:White, R. S., editor; Hardman, R. F. P.; Watts, A. B.; Whitmarsh, R. B.
Source:Philosophical Transactions - Royal Society. Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences, 357(1753), p.741-765; Response of the Earth's lithosphere to extension, London, United Kingdom, May 1998, edited by R. S. White, R. F. P. Hardman, A. B. Watts and R. B. Whitmarsh. Publisher: Royal Society of London, London, United Kingdom. ISSN: 1364-503X
Publication Date:1999
Note:In English. 82 refs.; illus., incl. 1 table, geol. sketch maps
Summary:Although the morphology and dimensions of continental rift basins vary considerably worldwide, one aspect is similar; tectonically active rifts are bordered on one or both sides by relatively long (tens of kilometres) normal fault systems (termed border faults) that largely control basin morphology. We compile data constraining the geometry of border faults within the tectonically active East African Rift system, and evaluate these results with respect to variations in thickness of the elastic lithosphere. Border-fault lengths greater than 75 km occur in regions with deep crustal seismicity and relatively high estimates of effective elastic thickness (Te) derived from forward and inverse models of gravity and topography data (Te>25 km). Most East African border faults cross-cut pre-existing structures and basement foliations, although segments of the longest faults (greater than 80 km) reactivate Precambrian shear zones or structural fabrics. From observations in East Africa, comparisons with data from the Aegean and Baikal Rifts, and considerations of the rheology of continental lithosphere, we propose that the elastic lithosphere determines the length, width and style of faults within East Africa, and perhaps other continental rifts.
Sections:Physical properties of rocks and minerals
Subjects:Basin inversion; Basins; Elastic strain; Extension; Faults; Lithosphere; Plate tectonics; Pull-apart basins; Rheology; Rifting; Seismicity; Shear zones; Aegean Islands; Africa; Asia; Baikal rift zone; Commonwealth of Independent States; East African Rift; Mediterranean region; Russian Federation
Coordinates:S150000 N150000 E0400000 E0300000
Abstract Numbers:00M/2231
Record ID:1999058989
Copyright Information:GeoRef, Copyright 2019 American Geosciences Institute.
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