The evolution of the North and South Atlantic is controlled by pre-existing tectonic features, mantle processes, and crustal response. The passive continental margins represent 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 North and South Atlantic system and adjacent continents but exemplary case studies from other margin settings are also welcome. Some of the most important among many scientific questions to be addressed are these:
- How do mantle and surface processes interact during rifting and breakup, and during post breakup evolution of the continental margins, and how do these processes influence onshore-offshore feed-back processes?
- What is origin of the extreme fluxes of magma in volcanic rifted margins like the North and 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 rock and topographic uplift, erosion, sedimentation and diagenesis processes, and how is this evolution connected with mantle flow and global climate?
- - What is the timing and mechanisms of the post-rift uplift phases that have affected many passive continental around the world, including those around the Atlantic?
- How does rifting and continental separation modify ocean circulation patterns and what are the resulting global implications for biodiversity and climate change?
The North and South Atlantic, its conjugate rifted margins and adjacent continents are ideally suited to contribute answers to these questions. This 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 breakup. We encourage scientist who deal with the long-term evolution of fracture zones at passive continental margins to present their data as well.