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Preferential rifting of continents - A source of displaced terranesLithospheric rifting, while prevalent in the continents, rarely occurs in oceanic regions. To explain this preferential rifting of continents, the total strength of different lithospheres is compared by integrating the limits of lithospheric stress with depth. Comparisons of total strength indicate that continental lithosphere is weaker than oceanic lithosphere by about a factor of three. Also, a thickened crust can halve the total strength of normal continental lithosphere. Because the weakest area acts as a stress guide, any rifting close to an ocean-continent boundary would prefer a continental pathway. This results in the formation of small continental fragments or microplates that, once accreted back to a continent during subduction, are seen as displaced terranes. In addition, the large crustal thicknesses associated with suture zones would make such areas likely locations for future rifting episodes. This results in the tendency of new oceans to open along the suture where a former ocean had closed.
Document ID
19850031795
Document Type
Reprint (Version printed in journal)
Authors
Vink, G. E.
(U.S. Navy, Naval Research Laboratory, Washington, DC; Princeton University Princeton, NJ, United States)
Morgan, W. J.
(Naval Research Lab. Washington, DC, United States)
Zhao, W.-L.
(Princeton University Princeton, NJ, United States)
Date Acquired
August 12, 2013
Publication Date
November 10, 1984
Publication Information
Publication: Journal of Geophysical Research
Volume: 89
ISSN: 0148-0227
Subject Category
Geosciences (General)
Funding Number(s)
CONTRACT_GRANT: NSF EAR-80-27875
CONTRACT_GRANT: NAS5-25896
Distribution Limits
Public
Copyright
Other
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