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Focus Group Meeting "Lithospheric structre, deformation and breakup processes"

The meeting of the “Lithospheric Structure, Deformation and Breakup Processes" group and of the “Sedimentary Systems and Fluid Systems” group took place in Potsdam, August 28th 2009
When Aug 28, 2009 09:30 AM to
Oct 23, 2009 05:30 PM
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Introduction and presentation of the planned new and follow-up proposals. Discussion on the focus and cross-linking between the projects. Reference to the main topics of the SPP. Output for other projects and required input from other projects within SPP. Required or available data and financial conditions.
PI’s contributions (5-10 min.):

  1. Michael Weber: Links zur Geophysik
  2. Trond Ryberg: SAMPLE offshore seismic experiments: Lithospheric structure of the Namibian continental passive margin at the intersection with the Walvis Ridge from amphibious seismic investigations (LISP-WAL)
  3. Behrman, J, Jegen, M. Crustal architecture, deformation and magmatism around Walvis Ridge offshore Northern Namibia, from an integrated study and joint inversion of wide angle seismic and MT data.
  4. Oliver Ritter, Ute Weckmann, Marion Jegen: On/Offshore deep electrical conductivity structure to investigate the Walvis Ridge magmatism and its interaction with the Kaoko Belt in Northern Namibia.
  5. Peter Kukla, Harald Stollhofen: Evolution of the passive margin Namibia, western South Africa?
  6. Glasmacher U.A. – Förster A.: Thermal, exhumation, uplift and long-term landscape evolution of the Brazilian and Namibia-passive continental margin.
  7. Glasmacher et al.,: Thermal, exhumation, uplift and long-term landscape evolution of the Argentine and South Africa-passive continental margin.
  8. Dieter Franke et al.: Transition from a sheared to a volcanic rifted margin: The crustal structure of the southern South Atlantic margin off Argentina.
  9. Bernd Schreckenberger et al.: IMAGE.
  10. M. Scheck-Wenderoth et al.,: 3D lithospheric models of the present-day conjugate passive margins offshore Argentina and South Africa and evaluation of their paleo-configurations since breakup.
  11. Rolando di Primio et al.: Thermal history and fluid escape features on the passive margin onshore and offshore Argentina.
  12. Gabi Uenzelmann-Neben et al.: Sediment drifts in the Argentine Basin: Fortsetzungsantrag (18 Mo) und ein Neuantrag (18 Mo zweite Haelfte).
  13. Maik Thomas: Models of oceanic circulation patterns?
  14. Stephan Sobolev et al.: Three-dimensional thermomechanical modeling of continental break-up in South Atlantic combining global and regional scales.
  15. Bernhard Steinberger et al.: Density anomalies beneath the South Atlantic - Slabs, plumes and their interactions.
  16. Jonas Kley, David Hindle: Topography, stress, sedimentary and basin dynamics of the South American continental plate during Atlantic opening.

12:00-13:00: Lunch Break


  • Summary of the targeted synergies between the individual proposals in SPP. Link between the topics Lithospheric Structure, Deformation and Breakup Processes, Sedimentary systems and fluid systems and Post-rift topographic evolution and links to climate and tectonics. View of potential gaps and assignment of tasks
  • Links to topic Mantle dynamics and magmatic processes


Meeting of the present members of the Steering Committee in order to discuss impending strategic


After all participants had presented their plans, the links between the projects and the potential gaps have been discussed. The links were rather clear. The planned geophysical experiments will help to revise the conceptual models of breakup used in structural geology and basin analysis. Geological work is including both onshore and offshore areas on both conjugate margins and denudation studies complement subsidence analyses offshore. Regional focus is partly dependent on data availability and partly on existing results from specific areas for which no new work is required.

The missing field of geomorphology can easily be compensated via external collaboration with TOPOAFRICA and with South African and South American partners, which however needs detailed reference in the proposals. The ultimate aim is to link the magmatism as signal of mantle activity with onshore denudation, offshore subsidence, sedimentation pattern evolution, gas emission, atmospheric and oceanic circulation as well as global plate movements and related far field effects.
Key aspects for phase II and III are:

  • How does continental breakup work and which is its magmatic signal?
  • Why is the post-breakup evolution on both sides of the South Atlantic so different?
  • What are the far-field effects (plate tectonics, mantle convection, ocean circulation) on the system?

We aim to establish consistency checks between different viewpoints related to different disciplines and find answers for complementary fields. Examples are: which circulation/depositional/structural pattern would result from which plate-tectonic/mantle convection setting?

Also the question if a protected but shared data management is desirable has been raised and which form would be most efficient. The consensus reached was that it is considered as very important and helpful and should be submitted as a separate proposal with a coordinative aspect.

A formal issue concerned the proposal submission procedure. After discussion the following proposal was put forward:

  • to submit directly to DFG according to the rules of proposal submission
  • to send a copy of each proposal to the main coordinator (H-P. Bunge)
  • to circulate the summaries of the proposals within the community at least two weeks before submission deadline to facilitate clarification of links between the proposals
  • the coordinators will compile a white paper summarizing the main goals of phase II one month before submission deadline.

Another formal issue concerned the strategy of submitting two (18 +18 months) proposals or one 3-year proposal and the conclusion was that this depends on the progress in the individual projects.


1.Autin, Julia (GFZ Potsdam)
2.Becker, Katharina
3.Behrmann, Jan (IFM Geomar)
4.Bunge, Hans Peter (LMU München)
5.Di Primio, Rolando (GFZ Potsdam)
6.Franke, Dieter (BGR Hannover)
7.Glasmacher, Ullrich (Uni Heidelberg)
8.Gruetzner, Jens (AWI Bremerhaven)
9.Haberland, Christian (GFZ Potsdam)
10.Karl, Markus (Uni Heidelberg)
11.Koehn Daniel (Uni Mainz)
12.Kuhlmann, Gesa (BGR Hannover)
13.Kukla, Peter (RWTH Aachen)
14.Lögering, Markus (GFZ Potsdam)
15.Reichert, Christian (BGR Hannover)
16.Scheck-Wenderoth, Magdalena (GFZ Potsdam)
17.Schnabel, Michael (BGR Hannover)
18.Sobolev, Stephan (GFZ Potsdam)
19.Stankiewicz, Jacek (GFZ Potsdam)
20.Steinberger, Bernhard (GFZ Potsdam)
21.Thomas, Maik (GFZ Potsdam)
22.Uenzelmann-Neben, Gabriele (AWI Bremerhaven)
23.Weber, Michael (GFZ Potsdam)
24.Weckmann, Ute (GFZ Potsdam)
25.Trumbull, Bob (GFZ Potsdam)