Reconstructions of the history of convergence between the Nubia and Eurasia plates constitute an important part of a broader framework for understanding deformation in the Mediterranean region and the closing of the Mediterranean Basin. Herein, we combine high-resolution reconstructions of Eurasia-North America and Nubia-North America Plate motions to determine rotations that describe Nubia-Eurasia Plate motion at ~1 Myr intervals for the past 20 Myr. We apply trans-dimensional hierarchical Bayesian inference to the Eurasia-North America and Nubia-North America rotation sequences in order to reduce noise in the newly estimated Nubia-Eurasia rotations. The noise-reduced rotation sequences for the Eurasia-North America and Nubia-North America Plate pairs describe remarkably similar kinematic histories since 20 Ma, consisting of relatively steady seafloor spreading from 20 to 8 Ma, ~20 per cent opening-rate slowdowns at 8-6.5 Ma, and steady plate motion from ~7 Ma to the present. Our newly estimated Nubia-Eurasia rotations predict that convergence across the central Mediterranean Sea slowed by ~50 per cent and rotated anticlockwise after ~25 Ma until 13 Ma. Motion since 13 Ma has remained relatively steady. An absence of evidence for a significant change in motion immediately before or during the Messinian Salinity Crisis at 6.3-5.6 Ma argues against a change in plate motion as its causative factor. The detachment of the Arabian Peninsula from Africa at 30-24 Ma may have triggered the convergence rate slowdown before 13 Ma; however, published reconstructions of Nubia-Eurasia motion for times before 20 Ma are too widely spaced to determine with confidence whether the two are correlated. A significant discrepancy between our new estimates of Nubia-Eurasia motion during the past few Myr and geodetic estimates calls for further investigation.

High-resolution Neogene and Quaternary estimates of Nubia-Eurasia-North America Plate motion / Demets, C.; Iaffaldano, G.; Merkouriev, S.. - In: GEOPHYSICAL JOURNAL INTERNATIONAL. - ISSN 0956-540X. - 203:1(2015), pp. 416-427. [10.1093/gji/ggv277]

High-resolution Neogene and Quaternary estimates of Nubia-Eurasia-North America Plate motion

Iaffaldano G.;
2015-01-01

Abstract

Reconstructions of the history of convergence between the Nubia and Eurasia plates constitute an important part of a broader framework for understanding deformation in the Mediterranean region and the closing of the Mediterranean Basin. Herein, we combine high-resolution reconstructions of Eurasia-North America and Nubia-North America Plate motions to determine rotations that describe Nubia-Eurasia Plate motion at ~1 Myr intervals for the past 20 Myr. We apply trans-dimensional hierarchical Bayesian inference to the Eurasia-North America and Nubia-North America rotation sequences in order to reduce noise in the newly estimated Nubia-Eurasia rotations. The noise-reduced rotation sequences for the Eurasia-North America and Nubia-North America Plate pairs describe remarkably similar kinematic histories since 20 Ma, consisting of relatively steady seafloor spreading from 20 to 8 Ma, ~20 per cent opening-rate slowdowns at 8-6.5 Ma, and steady plate motion from ~7 Ma to the present. Our newly estimated Nubia-Eurasia rotations predict that convergence across the central Mediterranean Sea slowed by ~50 per cent and rotated anticlockwise after ~25 Ma until 13 Ma. Motion since 13 Ma has remained relatively steady. An absence of evidence for a significant change in motion immediately before or during the Messinian Salinity Crisis at 6.3-5.6 Ma argues against a change in plate motion as its causative factor. The detachment of the Arabian Peninsula from Africa at 30-24 Ma may have triggered the convergence rate slowdown before 13 Ma; however, published reconstructions of Nubia-Eurasia motion for times before 20 Ma are too widely spaced to determine with confidence whether the two are correlated. A significant discrepancy between our new estimates of Nubia-Eurasia motion during the past few Myr and geodetic estimates calls for further investigation.
2015
High-resolution Neogene and Quaternary estimates of Nubia-Eurasia-North America Plate motion / Demets, C.; Iaffaldano, G.; Merkouriev, S.. - In: GEOPHYSICAL JOURNAL INTERNATIONAL. - ISSN 0956-540X. - 203:1(2015), pp. 416-427. [10.1093/gji/ggv277]
File in questo prodotto:
Non ci sono file associati a questo prodotto.

I documenti in IRIS sono protetti da copyright e tutti i diritti sono riservati, salvo diversa indicazione.

Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11381/2983975
Citazioni
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.pmc??? ND
  • Scopus 75
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.isi??? 70
social impact