12. Post-Rift Deformation of the North East and South Atlantic Margins: Are “Passive Margins” Really Passive?

  1. Cathy Busby2 and
  2. Antonio Azor3
  1. Douglas Paton

Published Online: 30 JAN 2012

DOI: 10.1002/9781444347166.ch12

Tectonics of Sedimentary Basins: Recent Advances

Tectonics of Sedimentary Basins: Recent Advances

How to Cite

Paton, D. (2011) Post-Rift Deformation of the North East and South Atlantic Margins: Are “Passive Margins” Really Passive?, in Tectonics of Sedimentary Basins: Recent Advances (eds C. Busby and A. Azor), John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, Chichester, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781444347166.ch12

Editor Information

  1. 2

    Department of Earth Science, University of California, Santa Barbara CA 93106, USA

  2. 3

    Departamento de Geodinámica, Universidad de Granada, Campus de Fuentenueva, s/n, 18071 Granada, Spain

Author Information

  1. School of Earth and Environment, University of Leeds, Leeds LS2 9JT, UK

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 30 JAN 2012
  2. Published Print: 30 DEC 2011

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9781405194655

Online ISBN: 9781444347166

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Keywords:

  • passive-margin;
  • post-rift subsidence;
  • compressional deformation;
  • uplift

Summary

There have been many recent advances on understanding the mechanisms and controls on continental lithospheric extension, but most models assume that post-rift thermal subsidence conforms to an exponential decay. This has led to the general use of the term “passive margin” for the resultant margin. This chapter will discuss observations from the North East and South Atlantic margins, which show that such settings are anything but “passive.”

The North East Atlantic has a number of rapid subsidence and uplift events that are not accounted for in simple thermal subsidence models and require crust-mantle interactions to explain them. In addition, compressional structures are observed, thus suggesting horizontal shortening generated from ridge-push effects. In the South Atlantic, although less data are available, there is substantial evidence from both onshore and offshore that the margin has undergone significant post-rift deformation. The exact timing of the deformation remains controversial but it is evident that there was deformation in both late Cretaceous and Tertiary times.