EGU23-8472, updated on 25 Feb 2023
EGU General Assembly 2023
© Author(s) 2023. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

A Pseudo-Gravity Magnetic Anomaly Transformation Map for the Central South Atlantic: Implications for Ocean Development after Breakup

Michelle Graça1,3, Nick Kusznir2, and Natasha Stanton3
Michelle Graça et al.
  • 1Geological Survey of Brazil - CPRM, Geology, Geological Oceanography, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (
  • 2School of Environmental Sciences, University of Liverpool, Liverpool L69 3BX, UK
  • 3Faculty of Oceanography, Rio de Janeiro State University, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

We have processed the EMAG2v3 observed full field magnetic anomaly (Meyer et al., 2017) using the magnetic potential transformation to make a pseudo-gravity anomaly map for the South Atlantic between 15° S and 40° S. A pseudo-gravity transformation attempts to remove the dipolar complexity of a magnetic anomaly and produce the equivalent gravity anomaly assuming a constant ratio of magnetization to density contrast. We assume that magnetization is induced. Our South Atlantic study area encompasses the major bathymetric features of the Rio Grande Rise (RGR) and Walvis Ridge (WR), as well as the Brazilian and African rifted margins.

On the Brazilian continental margin, there are high positive pseudo-gravity anomalies on the São Paulo Plateau (SPP) in the Santos Basin, as well as on the Florianópolis Ridge (FR). The distal Campos Basin also shows high positive pseudo-gravity anomaly. The southern Pelotas Brazilian rifted margin shows negative pseudo-gravity anomaly becoming positive oceanward on the Torres High. In the oceanic domain the Rio Grande Rise (RGR) shows three units of high positive pseudogravity anomalies. Although the RGR presents high amplitude pseudo-gravity anomalies, they are not homogeneous. The Eastern RGR has the most intense and linear N-S anomaly, while its Central unit has a circular pseudo-gravity anomaly and is more constrained in area. The Western RGR has a lower amplitude pseudo-gravity anomaly. The C34 magnetic anomaly region, separating the Eastern and Central RGR, shows a negative pseudo-gravity anomaly. Negative pseudo-gravity anomalies indicate that the assumption of entirely induced magnetization used in the pseudo gravity transformation is invalid and that significant long wavelength remnant magnetization exists. This may indicate heterogeneity of the magnetized layer as well as the effects of magnetic field reversals.

On the African plate, very strong positive pseudo-gravity anomalies occur on the inner WR and the SW African continental margin. The positive pseudo-gravity anomalies of the WR and the beginning of the outer SW trending WR “tail” create a very strong continuous positive pseudo-gravity anomaly. Together with the South African rifted margin, it forms a strong positive anomaly with a “7” shape. Westwards of the C34 magnetic anomaly there are no significant large amplitude pseudo-gravity anomalies.

The map of the pseudo-gravity has been restored using the GPlates reconstruction software. At 110 Ma, the SPP is near the inner WR and both show high amplitude positive pseudo-gravity anomalies. At 110 Ma, the FR is close to the most distal portion of the inner WR, both showing positive pseudo-gravity anomalies. At 85 Ma, the Central RGR, the western extremity of the inner WR and the start of the WR “tail” show conjugate positive pseudo-gravity anomalies. After the C34 anomaly, seen as an intense negative pseudo-gravity anomaly, the Eastern RGR and its conjugate WR “tail” both show positive pseudo-gravity anomalies and separate at ~ 65 Ma. The pseudo-gravity anomaly map indicates that the RGR and WR comprise distinct units which are correlated across the ocean and which correspond to the multiple oceanic ridge jumps reported in Graça et al. (2019).

How to cite: Graça, M., Kusznir, N., and Stanton, N.: A Pseudo-Gravity Magnetic Anomaly Transformation Map for the Central South Atlantic: Implications for Ocean Development after Breakup, EGU General Assembly 2023, Vienna, Austria, 24–28 Apr 2023, EGU23-8472,, 2023.