Continental extension leading to breakup: determining the 3D structure of the west Galicia rifted margin

The project is the UK part of a multi-institute, international project to collect 3D seismic reflection data and wide-angle data using the US RV Marcus Langseth. Partners include Southampton, Rice university, Lamont-Doherty and Barcelona. 

The aim of the project is to map out the structure of the continental crust where it thins to zero thickness, to understand how it thins, and the importance of detachment faulting in the processes of rifting and breakup and mantle exhumation. The study area is the Deep Galicia Margin west of Spain, a classic example of magma poor rifting. The project will start in early 2013 with the cruise scheduled for June 1st.

Members of staff involved:

Tim Reston (PI) and Carl Stevenson, + 1 PDRA tba

Research students:

1 tba

Project funding:

NERC. Total project funding at Birmingham: £789,822 of which £643,720 funded by NERC


Relevant to the project but not from project funds:

Reston TJ and McDermott K.  2011.  Successive detachment faults and mantle unroofing at magma-poor rifted margins.  Geology, 39, 1071-1074

Reston, TJ, 2010. The Opening of the Central Segment of the South Atlantic: Symmetry and the Extension Discrepancy.  Petroleum Geoscience, Vol. 16, pp. 199–206, DOI 10.1144/1354-079309-907

Reston, TJ., 2009. The structure, evolution and symmetry of the magma-poor rifted margins of the North and Central Atlantic: a Synthesis.  Tectonophysics, 468, 6-27

Reston T.J. 2009  The extension discrepancy and synrift subsidence deficit at rifted margins.  Petroleum Geoscience, 15, 217-237

Reston TJ, Leythaeuser T, Booth-Rea G, Sawyer D, Klaeschen D, Long C. 2007. Movement along a low-angle normal fault. The S reflector west of Spain.  Geochem. Geophys. Geosyst., 8, Q06002, doi:10.1029/2006GC001437

Key periods of data collection/fieldwork activity:

1 June 2013 - 14 July 2013