Deep structure of the Grenada Basin from wide‐angle seismic, bathymetric and gravity data

Type Article
Date 2021-02
Language English
Author(s) Padron CreliaORCID1, 2, Klingelhoefer FraukeORCID2, Marcaillou BorisORCID3, Lebrun Jean‐frédéricORCID4, Lallemand SergeORCID5, Garrocq ClémentORCID5, Laigle Mireille3, Roest WalterORCID2, Beslier Marie‐odile3, Schenini Laure3, Graindorge David6, Gay Aurelien5, Audemard FranckORCID7, Münch PhilippeORCID5
Affiliation(s) 1 : Departamento de Ciencias de la Tierra, Universidad Simón Bolívar (USB), Caracas, Venezuela
2 : Géosciences Marines, Ifremer, ZI de la Pointe de Diable, CS 10070, 29280 Plouzané, France
3 : Geoazur Université Côte d'Azur CNRS IRD Observatoire de la Côte d'Azur, Géoazur, 250 Avenue Albert Einstein,06560 Valbonne, France
4 : Géosciences Montpellier, Université des Antilles, CNRS Université de Montpellier Campus de Fouillole Pointe‐à‐Pitre, Guadeloupe (FWI)
5 : Géosciences Montpellier, CNRS, Université de Montpellier, Université des Antilles, Place Eugène Bataillon, 34095 Montpellier, France
6 : Laboratoire Géosciences Océan, CNRS‐UBO‐UBS, Université Bretagne Pays de Loire (UBL), Brest Institut Universitaire Européen de la Mer rue Dumont Durville, F‐29280 Plouzané, France
7 : Venezuelan Foundation for Seismological Research, El Llanito, Caracas, Venezuela
Source Journal Of Geophysical Research-solid Earth (2169-9313) (American Geophysical Union), 2021-02 , Vol. 126 , N. 2 , P. e2020JB020472 (26p.)
DOI 10.1029/2020JB020472
WOS© Times Cited 7
Keyword(s) back-arc basin, gravity, Grenada basin, wide-angle seismic

The Grenada back‐arc basin is located between the Aves Ridge, which hosted the remnant Early Paleogene “Great Caribbean Arc”, and the Eocene to Present Lesser Antilles Arc. Several earlier studies have proposed different modes of back‐arc opening for this basin, including N‐S and E‐W directions. The main aim of this study is to constrain the circumstances leading to the opening of the basin. Three combined wide‐angle and reflection seismic profiles were acquired in the Grenada basin. The final velocity models from forward travel time and gravity modeling image variations in thickness and velocity structure of the sedimentary and crustal layers.

The sedimentary cover has a variable thickness between one kilometer on top of the ridges to ∼10 km in the basin. North of Guadeloupe Island, the crust is ∼20 km thick without significant changes between Aves Ridge, the Grenada basin, and the Eocene and present Lesser Antilles arc. South of Guadeloupe Island the Grenada basin is underlain by a oceanic crust of mainly magmatic origin over a width of ∼80 km. Here, the western flank of the Lesser Antilles Arc, the crust is 17.5‐km thick. The velocity structure of the Lesser Antilles Arc is typical of volcanic arcs or oceanic plateaus. West of the basin, the crust thickens to 25 km at Aves Ridge in a 80‐100 km wide arc‐ocean transition zone. The narrowness of this transition zone suggests that opening might have proceeded in a direction oblique to the main convergence. Opening probably was accompanied by moderate volcanism.

Plain language summary

In this study, we investigated the formation of the Grenada Basin, located west of the Lesser Antilles island arc. These types of basins typically open behind subduction zones, where one tectonic plate is moving underneath another plate. We deployed instruments on the seafloor to record acoustic signals made using pressured air in an array towed behind the ship. This method allowed us to image the sediments and crustal layers along the three profiles of our study. We find that the structure of both the eastern and western margin of the basin are similar in their physical properties, that volcanism was widespread during basin opening, and the southeastern part of the basin is underlain by crust typically found in oceans. More research is needed to explore the direction of opening and the extent of the oceanic‐type crust underneath the modern island arc.

Full Text
File Pages Size Access
Supporting Information S1 9 1 MB Open access
Publisher's official version 44 18 MB Open access
Top of the page

How to cite 

Padron Crelia, Klingelhoefer Frauke, Marcaillou Boris, Lebrun Jean‐frédéric, Lallemand Serge, Garrocq Clément, Laigle Mireille, Roest Walter, Beslier Marie‐odile, Schenini Laure, Graindorge David, Gay Aurelien, Audemard Franck, Münch Philippe (2021). Deep structure of the Grenada Basin from wide‐angle seismic, bathymetric and gravity data. Journal Of Geophysical Research-solid Earth, 126(2), e2020JB020472 (26p.). Publisher's official version : , Open Access version :