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Evidence for reflectors in the lower continental crust before rifting in the Valencia Trough
Watts, A.B.; Torné, M.; Buhl, P.; Mauffret, A.; Pascal, G.; Pinet, B. (1990). Evidence for reflectors in the lower continental crust before rifting in the Valencia Trough. Nature (Lond.) 348(6302): 631-635
In: Nature: International Weekly Journal of Science. Nature Publishing Group: London. ISSN 0028-0836, more
Peer reviewed article  

Available in  Authors 

    Crustal structure; Miocene; Oceanic crust; Oceanic trenches; Oligocene; Plate tectonics; Rift zones; MED, Spain, Valencia Trough [Marine Regions]; Marine

Authors  Top 
  • Watts, A.B.
  • Torné, M.
  • Buhl, P.
  • Mauffret, A.
  • Pascal, G.
  • Pinet, B.

    The past decade has seen a rapid advance in our understanding of the deep structure of the continental crust, especially in Europe, Australia and North America, where seismic profiling has revealed a highly reflective layer in the lower crust. On many profiles, the reflective layer is associated with regions of extension, suggesting that the reflectors originate by some form of ductile flow or magmatic intrusion during rifting. To test this hypothesis, we have examined geophysical and geological data from the Valencia Trough, a rift basin of Late Oligocene/Early Miocene age. From a comparison of profiles in different parts of the trough, and independent constraints on the initial crustal thickness, we argue that the reflective layer in this basin was probably already in the crust before rifting, and that a mid-Tertiary extensional event is not required to explain it.

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