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Transition from a sheared to a volcanic rifted margin: The crustal structure of the southern South Atlantic margin off Argentina

Principal Investigators: Dr. Dieter Franke, Dr. Michael Schnabel, Stefan Ladage FrankeRundeI

The southernmost South Atlantic is a key study area to revise the influence of a deep mantle plume on the rifting and breakup of this oceanic basin. At the most remote continental margin from the plume head (Tristan da Cunha) we will establish the rate and amount of volcanism and magmatism during breakup and test its dependency from the distance to the hot spot. Within the proposed study we will investigate the deep structure of the Argentine margin at 50°S to 45°S, i.e. at the transition between the volcanic margin of southern Argentina and the sheared margin which bounds the Falkland Plateau to the North. Existing wide-angle reflection/refraction data will reveal the deep structure of the crust and especially the amount of magmatic underplating. The resulting velocity-depth model will be used to improve processing of the multichannel seismic (MCS) data to confirm the weak indications for seaward dipping reflector sequences (SDRs) at the sheared margin and also the deep structures. The results will be used to quantify the amount of emplaced volcanic/magmatic material as a function of the distance from the plume head. This will enable a re-evaluation of different rift models and of the mechanisms for the emplacement of the volcanics.