Influence of margin segmentation upon the break-up of the Hatton Bank rifted margin, NE Atlantic

Elliott, Gavin M.; Parson, Lindsay M.. 2008 Influence of margin segmentation upon the break-up of the Hatton Bank rifted margin, NE Atlantic. Tectonophysics, 457 (3-4). 161-176.

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The Hatton Bank margin, flanking the Iceland Basin, is an example of a volcanic rifted margin and has been studied to examine the along margin tectono-magmatic variability. Integration of 5660 km of new seismic reflection profiles with > 60,000 km2 of new multibeam bathymetry has allowed the margin to be divided into three segments, each of which are flanked by oceanic crust. The southernmost segment is characterised by a series of inner and outer seaward dipping reflector (SDR) packages, which are separated by an “Outer High” feature. The outer SDRs are truncated by Endymion Spur, a chain of steep sided, volcanic cones connected by narrow septa or necks. The central segment has no Inner SDR package and is characterised by the presence of a continental block, the Hatton Bank Block (HBB). The northern segment is adjacent to Lousy Bank, with a wider region of SDRs recognised than to the south, and characterised by many volcanic cones. The variations in the distribution of the SDRs along the margin, the presence of the HBB and Endymion Spur all suggest that the break-up process was not a uniform smooth process along-strike. Structural segmentation controlled the variations along the margin with break-up initiated in the south, producing the SDR packages. The HBB prompted the focus of break-up to relocate outboard of the block. The northern segment was closest to the Iceland “hot-spot”, and regular seafloor spreading did not become established until Chron 21. Shortly after break-up, the eruption of Endymion Spur occurred and may have been triggered by the passage of a pulse of hot asthenospheric material along the margin. The margin segmentation pattern we describe controlled the location of the enhanced volcanism along the Endymion Spur to the southern sector. In addition the segmentation has influenced the break-up style (presence or absence of SDR) and also the location and nature of post break-up volcanism.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
ISSN: 0040-1951
Additional Keywords: Volcanic rifted margin; Seaward dipping reflectors; Volcanism; Margin segmentation
Date made live: 31 Jul 2008 +0 (UTC)

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