Deep Crustal Structure of the North-West African Margin from Combined Wide-angle and Reflection Seismic Data (MIRROR Seismic Survey)

Type Article
Date 2015-08
Language English
Author(s) Biari Youssef1, 2, 4, Klingelhoefer FraukeORCID1, Sahabi Mohamed2, Aslanian DanielORCID1, Schnurle PhilippeORCID1, Berglar K.3, Moulin MarylineORCID1, Mehdi K.2, Graindorge D.4, Evain MikaelORCID1, Benabdellouahed Massinissa1, Reichert C.3
Affiliation(s) 1 : IFREMER, Dept Marine Geosci, ZI Pointe Diable, CS10070, F-29280 Plouzane, France.
2 : Univ Chouaib Doukkali, Lab Geosci Marines & Sci Sols, Fac Sci, URAC 45, El Jadida 24000, Morocco.
3 : BGR, Geozentrum Hannover, D-30655 Hannover, Germany.
4 : IUEM, UMR Domaines Ocean 6538, F-29280 Plouzane, France.
Source Tectonophysics (0040-1951) (Elsevier Science Bv), 2015-08 , Vol. 656 , P. 154-174
DOI 10.1016/j.tecto.2015.06.019
WOS© Times Cited 18
Keyword(s) Moroccan continental margin, Wide-angle seismic modeling, Deep crustal structure, Ocean continent transition
Abstract The structure of the Moroccan and Nova Scotia conjugate rifted margins is of key importance for understanding the Mesozoic break-up and evolution of the northern central Atlantic Ocean basin. Seven combined multichannel reflection (MCS) and wide-angle seismic (OBS) data profiles were acquired along the Atlantic Moroccan margin between the latitudes of 31.5° and 33° N during the MIRROR seismic survey in 2011, in order to image the transition from continental to oceanic crust, to study the variation in crustal structure and to characterize the crust under the West African Coast Magnetic Anomaly (WACMA).

The data were modeled using a forward modeling approach. The final models image crustal thinning from 36 km thickness below the continent to approximately 8 km in the oceanic domain. A 100 km wide zone characterized by rough basement topography and high seismic velocities up to 7.4 km/s in the lower crust is observed westward of the West African Coast Magnetic Anomaly. No basin underlain by continental crust has been imaged in this region, as has been identified north of our study area. Comparison to the conjugate Nova Scotian margin shows a similar continental crustal thickness and layer geometry, and the existence of exhumed and serpentinized upper mantle material on the Canadian side only. The oceanic crustal thickness is lower on the Canadian margin.
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Biari Youssef, Klingelhoefer Frauke, Sahabi Mohamed, Aslanian Daniel, Schnurle Philippe, Berglar K., Moulin Maryline, Mehdi K., Graindorge D., Evain Mikael, Benabdellouahed Massinissa, Reichert C. (2015). Deep Crustal Structure of the North-West African Margin from Combined Wide-angle and Reflection Seismic Data (MIRROR Seismic Survey). Tectonophysics, 656, 154-174. Publisher's official version : , Open Access version :