Transient convective uplift of an ancient buried landscape

Hartley, R. A. and Roberts, G. and White, N. J. and Richardson, C. N. (2011) Transient convective uplift of an ancient buried landscape. Nature Geoscience, 4. pp. 562-565. ISSN 1752-0894 EISSN:1752-0908 DOI 10.1038/ngeo1191

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Abstract

Sedimentary basins in the North Atlantic Ocean preserve a record of intermittent uplift during Cenozoic times1. These variations in elevation are thought to result from temperature changes within the underlying Icelandic mantle plume2. When parts of the European continental shelf were episodically lifted above sea level, new landscapes were carved by erosion, but these landscapes then subsided and were buried beneath marine sediments3. Here, we use three-dimensional seismic data to reconstruct one of these ancient landscapes that formed off the northwest coast of Europe during the Palaeocene–Eocene Thermal Maximum. We identify a drainage network within the landscape and, by modelling the profiles of individual rivers within this network, we reconstruct the history of surface uplift. We show that the landscape was lifted above sea level in a series of three discrete steps of 200–400 m each. After about 1 million years of subaerial exposure, this landscape was reburied. We use the magnitude and duration of uplift to constrain the temperature and velocity of a mantle-plume anomaly that drove landscape formation. We conclude that pulses of hot, chemically depleted, mantle material spread out radially beneath the lithospheric plate at velocities of ~35 cm yr−1.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: 2011AREP, IA63,
Subjects: 02 - Geodynamics, Geophysics and Tectonics
Divisions: 02 - Geodynamics, Geophysics and Tectonics
Journal or Publication Title: Nature Geoscience
Volume: 4
Page Range: pp. 562-565
Identification Number: 10.1038/ngeo1191
Depositing User: Sarah Humbert
Date Deposited: 19 May 2011 16:08
Last Modified: 23 Jul 2013 10:02
URI: http://eprints.esc.cam.ac.uk/id/eprint/2064

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