Magmatism and Continental Breakup in the South Atlantic


Our current work aims to  test the predictions of melt volumes and seismic velocity from our numerical models against a unique oil-industry seismic reflection dataset from the Central and South Atlantic provided by ION-GXT. The 2D seismic lines are spectacular- routinely imaging to beneath the Moho allowing insight into the deep structure of the continental margins. Volcanic rocks, including sea-ward dipping reflectors and igneous, crustal, underplated material are routinely imaged on these data. In the South Atlantic the along-strike pattern of volcanism seems far less systematic than the better studied North Atlantic margins. This project aims to investigate why this is the case and will lead to a significant advance in our understanding of continental break-up


IonExample seismic reflection line from Argentine continental margin, with seaward dipping reflections. Image dimensions: length ~ 50 km; depth ~10km. Fom ION website.


Team members

  • Jenny Collier
  • Lidia Lonergan
  • John Armitage
  • Chandra Taposeea
  • Carl McDermott