Passive continental margins are long-term and large-scale geo-archives of Earth processes related to mantle dynamics, the break-up of continents and the creation of sedimentary basins, changes in ocean circulation patterns and their effect on climate. Passive margins are also of paramount economic importance in terms of hydrocarbon resources. For this interdisciplinary session we seek contributions from natural case studies and from geodynamic or geomaterials modelling which address the interplay of deep mantle processes and their consequences on surface expressions in passive margin systems. The emphasis should be on the South Atlantic system. But exemplary case studies from other margin settings are also welcome. Some of the most important questions to be addressed are:
- How do mantle and surface processes interact during rifting, and during the post break-up evolution of the continental margins? And how does this influence onshore-offshore feed-back processes?
- What is origin of the extreme fluxes of magma in volcanic rifted margins like the South Atlantic? What is their role in continental rifting and lithospheric thinning? What impact do they have on the subsequent evolution of passive margins?
- To what degree is the formation and 4-D evolution of sedimentary basins, both on- and offshore, a function of uplift, erosion, sedimentation and diagenesis processes, and how is this evolution connected with mantle flow and global climate?
- How does rifting and continental separation modify ocean circulation patterns and what are the resulting global implications for biodiversity and climate change?
The South Atlantic and its conjugate rifted margins are ideally suited to contribute answers to these questions. The session will try to tackle the complex interacting feedback cycles involving thermal and mechanical forces that acted over the ca. 200 million years since the beginning of break-up.
Posters will be presented by a short talk with 1 ppt slide at Wednesday the 5th of May 2010 in Room 37.