, Volume 45, Issue 1, pp 71-93

Tectonotype of nonvolcanic passive margins in the Iberia-Newfoundland region

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Abstract

The tectonotype of nonvolcanic passive margins is discussed on the basis of data on the conjugate margins of West Iberia and Newfoundland. Magmatic, structural, and historical aspects are considered. The Late Mesozoic structural elements related to rifting and transition to spreading are considered, as well as the Early Mesozoic sedimentary basins that begin the history of oceanic opening. The problem is set to determine the tectonic conditions of the early opening of the ocean in the framework of the chosen tectonoptype. These conditions are compared with the setting at the volcanic margins. The formation of the conjugate Iberia-Newfoundland margins is reconstructed as an asymmetric rift system developing in an almost amagmatic regime. All three segments of the margins on both sides of the ocean reveal similar features of transverse zoning with zones of the tectonized continental, transitional, and oceanic crust oriented nearly parallel to the margin. Special attention is called to the old age of the continental crust and subcontinental mantle and the absence of newly formed crystalline crust; the stadial tectonic and rheological evolution of the crust and lithospheric mantle; the specific features of the transitional zone; the serpentinization and exhumation of mantle peridotites and their role in the development of detachment at the crust-mantle interface, related listric faults and the Peridotite Ridge, attenuation of the medium, further localization of continental breakup, and the eventual development of asymmetric conjugate margins. Two papers characterizing the tectonotypes of volcanic and nonvolcanic passive margins ([2] and this paper) determine the line of further comparative analysis necessary for insights into the geodynamics of ocean opening.

Original Russian Text © E.N. Melankholina, 2011, published in Geotektonika, 2011, Vol. 45, No. 1, pp. 80–105.