NTRS - NASA Technical Reports Server

Back to Results
Introduction - Processes of continental riftingIt is thought likely that thermal thinning and/or diapirism can cause the extensional stress required for rifting. The rifting, however, will not occur unless the regional tectonic regime permits the sides of the rift to diverge. Whereas passive plate extension could cause rifting in isolation, the extension and rifting are likely to be localized where the lithosphere is weakest over an existing thermal anomaly. In those cases where asthenospheric diapirism occurs, which is essentially a response to thinning of the lithosphere by thermal thinning or plate extension, the effects of diapirism may completely mask the initiating mechanism. It is believed that anomalous heat transfer into the lithosphere, diapirism, and magmatism must all figure in rifting, along with a deviatoric stress field that will permit extension in a developing rift. Even though the models are useful in permitting idealized processes to be quantified and tested, better knowledge of lithosphere properties is considered necessary, in particular knowledge of mantle viscosity and its temperature dependence.
Document ID
Document Type
Reprint (Version printed in journal)
Morgan, P.
(Lunar and Planetary Institute Houston, TX, United States)
Baker, B. H.
(Oregon, University Eugene, OR, United States)
Date Acquired
August 11, 2013
Publication Date
January 1, 1983
Publication Information
Publication: Tectonophysics
Volume: 94
ISSN: 0040-1951
Subject Category
Accession Number
Funding Number(s)
Distribution Limits

Available Downloads

There are no available downloads for this record.
No Preview Available