Structural and Stratigraphic Evolution of the Iberia and Newfoundland Rifted Margins: A Quantitative Modeling Approach

Thursday, 18 December 2014
Geoffroy Mohn1, Garry D Karner2, Gianreto Manatschal3 and Christopher A Johnson2, (1)University of Cergy-Pontoise, Cergy-Pontoise, France, (2)ExxonMobil Houston, Upstream Research Company, Houston, TX, United States, (3)IPG, Strasbourg, France
Rifted margins develop generally through polyphased extensional events leading eventually to break-up. We investigate the spatial and temporal evolution of the Iberia-Newfoundland rifted margin from its Permian post-orogenic stage to early Cretaceous break-up. We have applied Quantitative Basin Analysis to integrate seismic stratigraphic interpretations and drill hole data of representative sections across the Iberia-Newfoundland margins with kinematic models for the thinning of the lithosphere and subsequent isostatic readjustment. Our goal is to predict the distribution of extension and thinning, environments of deposition, crustal structure and subsidence history as functions of space and time. The first sediments deposited on the Iberian continental crust were in response to Permian lithospheric thinning, associated with magmatic underplating and subsequent thermal re-equilibration of the lithosphere. During late Triassic-early Jurassic rifting, a broadly distributed depth-independent lithospheric extension occurred, followed by late Jurassic rifting that increasingly focused with time and became depth-dependent during the early Cretaceous. However, there exists a temporality in the along-strike deformation of the Iberia-Newfoundland margin: significant Valanginian-Hauterivian deformation characterizes the northern Galicia Bank-Flemish Cap while the southern Iberian-Newfoundland region is characterized by Tithonian-early Berriasian extension. Deformation localized with time on both margins leading to late Aptian break-up. To match the distribution and magnitude of subsidence across the profiles requires significant thinning of middle/lower crustal level and subcontinental lithospheric mantle, leading to the formation of the hyper-extended domains. The late-stage deformation of both margins was characterized by a predominantly brittle deformation of the residual continental crust, leading to exhumation of subcontinental mantle and ultimately to seafloor spreading. Our modeling results may provide critical insights into the 3D along-strike interaction of continental lithosphere thinning in terms of changing crustal structure and environments of deposition as well as implications for the regional, 3D subsidence evolution of rifted margins.