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Basin and Range

• cont-cont collisions can end with collision (Alps) • they can progress to indenter tectonics (southeast Asia) • ultimately, India will either drive through Asia or the indenting will stop • depends on the driving force - plate margin, or subplate? • one possibility is for indenting to stop, and the Indian plate to break south of India • what would happen if Eurasia + India moved south and overrode the Carlsberg Ridge? • today the Nazca-Antarctic ridge is being overridden by South America • in last 20 m.y., the Pacific-Farallon ridge has been overridden by North America • what effects are found?

Basin and Range • western USA shows the effects of ridge subduction • history of Farallon convergence: 30 Ma http://pubs.usgs.gov/publications/text/Farallon.html 20 Ma 10 Ma today • leading corner of Farallon Plate has been subducted • ridge processes get extinguished • sub-lithospheric convection cycles may continue • much of western USA is now extensional .

.Basin and Range • extensional tectonics can be identified by landscape: "Basin and Range" • undoing the extension: • the distance from Salt Lake City to San Francisco has increased by almost 50% since Eocene.

partly climatic) .• • • • Basin and Range extends from Mexico to northwestern USA extension began about 20 Ma in a NE-SW direction today it more E-W extension.2000 m asl) – internal drainage divide (Great Basin . at 10-50 mm/a evidence for extension: – high mean elevation (1000 .

respectively) • green lines are mapped active faults.• evidence for extension: – GPS station velocities are measured: Basin and Range 10 mm/a http://quake.html • red and blue arrows represent extension amount and direction (Basin & Range. .wr.usgs. Sierra Nevada.gov/study/deformation/Papers/BnR_Science/Fig1.

upper crustal material has been stripped off. . become listric at depth some faults extend deep into continental crust where very large extension has occurred.Basin and Range – – – – – – series of (tilted) normal fault blocks valleys consist of grabens or half-grabens ranges are horsts. exhuming the lower crust. or high ends of tilted blocks bounding faults steep at surface.

• "extensive extension" first recognized in northern Canadian Cordillera by Wernicke • Wernicke model Basin and Range • results: – – – – – Basin and Range tectonic denudation core complexes shallow Moho positive gravity anomaly – many horizontal mylonites. .

etc. layering in the crust.sedimentary-basement contact.Basin and Range • Wernicke extension is now recognized in almost all extensional environments • continents and oceans • results in asymmetrical margins in a rifting situation • results in gradual crustal thinning in a continental margin • why does it break (almost) horizontally? • breaks along lines of weakness • all lines of weakness are horizontal . .

ch/research/plate_tecto/teaching.Basin and Range http://www-sst.unil.htm .

Basin and Range .

same time as the beginning of subduction of the East Pacific Rise • when slab drops off. mantle oozes around it  huge positive gravity anomaly • fast uplift of Colorado Plateau (since 5 Ma) as a result of thermal expansion arc fast spreading  underplating arrival of EPR end of subduction old slab drops off .Basin and Range • why is there extension in the Basin and Range in the first place? • extension started about 25 Ma .

Basin and Range • associated magmatism in the Basin and Range swept from Idaho to Las Vegas and New Mexico to Las Vegas as the slab gradually peeled off and sank • today.5 km/s) .a result of much magma . crust is thin under Basin and Range (20-25 km) • sub-Moho mantle velocity is low (to 7.

Basin and Range • Basin and Range scenario is probably unusual. Rhine. extra heat melts crust  basalt + rhyolite – terrestrial deposits (can be marine in advanced stages). but not impossible in other areas • anywhere extension occurs in continental crust. Lake Baikal) • how would we recognise it in the geologic record? – core complexes (LP metamorphism) – bimodal volcanism (adiabatic warming melts mantle. the Wernicke model is preferred (at several scales): – continent rifting (Scotian margin) – continent extension (Basin and Range) – rift valley formation (East Africa. .