Anomalous South Pacific lithosphere dynamics derived from new total sediment thickness estimates off the West Antarctic margin


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Florian.Wobbe [ at ] awi.de

Abstract

Paleotopographic models of the West Antarctic margin, which are essential for robust simulations of paleoclimate scenarios, lack information on sediment thickness and geodynamic conditions, resulting in large uncertainties. A new total sediment thickness grid spanning the Ross Sea–Amundsen Sea–Bellingshausen Sea basins is presented and is based on all the available seismic reflection, borehole, and gravity modeling data offshore West Antarctica. This grid was combined with NGDC's global 5 arc minute grid of ocean sediment thickness (Whittaker et al., 2013) and extends the NGDC grid further to the south. Sediment thickness along the West Antarctic margin tends to be 3–4 km larger than previously assumed. The sediment volume in the Bellingshausen, Amundsen, and Ross Sea basins amounts to 3.61, 3.58, and 2.78 million km3, respectively. The residual basement topography of the South Pacific has been revised and the new data show an asymmetric trend over the Pacific–Antarctic Ridge. Values are anomalously high south of the spreading ridge and in the Ross Sea area, where the topography seems to be affected by persistent mantle processes. In contrast, the basement topography offshore Marie Byrd Land cannot be attributed to dynamic topography, but rather to crustal thickening due to intraplate volcanism. Present-day dynamic topography models disagree with the presented revised basement topography of the South Pacific, rendering paleotopographic reconstructions with such a limited dataset still fairly uncertain.



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ISI/Scopus peer-reviewed
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Published
Eprint ID
36501
DOI 10.1016/j.gloplacha.2014.09.006

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Wobbe, F. , Lindeque, A. and Gohl, K. (2014): Anomalous South Pacific lithosphere dynamics derived from new total sediment thickness estimates off the West Antarctic margin , Global and Planetary Change, 123 (Part A), pp. 139-149 . doi: 10.1016/j.gloplacha.2014.09.006


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