L. Cordell
1982
A positive gravity anomaly along the axis of the Rio Grande rift reflects a volume of anomalous mass added at the base of the crust and intruded into the crust. Part of this volume can be associated with vertical uplift of the crust. The remainder of this anomalous volume, plus the volume of surficial graben fill, can be associated with horizontal crustal extension. The volume of crustal uplift in the Rio Grande rift is unknown, but this term can be eliminated by means of an independent equation provided by assumption of generalized isostatic equilibrium. The volume and mass equations combined provide a solution for extension of the crust in terms of the following parameters: total anomalous mass deficiency in the mantle lithosphere, total anomalous mass excess in the crust and its density contrast, total anomalous mass deficiency of surficial graben fill and its density contrast, and the volume of material eroded from the uplift. Using standard density estimates and masses determined by equivalent-source modeling of gravity profiles, I obtained 1-km extension at 37oN (Colorado-New Mexico border), 13- km extension at 35oN (Albuquerque, New Mexico), and 24-km extension at 33oN in S New Mexico.-Author
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Extension in the Rio Grande rift.
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