Post-rift magmatic evolution of the eastern North American “passive-aggressive” margin

Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems
By: , and 



Understanding the evolution of passive margins requires knowledge of temporal and chemical constraints on magmatism following the transition from supercontinent to rifting, to post-rifting evolution. The Eastern North American Margin (ENAM) is an ideal study location as several magmatic pulses occurred in the 200 My following rifting. In particular, the Virginia-West Virginia region of the ENAM has experienced two postrift magmatic pulses at ∼152 Ma and 47 Ma, and thus provides a unique opportunity to study the long-term magmatic evolution of passive margins. Here we present a comprehensive set of geochemical data that includes new 40Ar/39Ar ages, major and trace-element compositions, and analysis of radiogenic isotopes to further constrain their magmatic history. The Late Jurassic volcanics are bimodal, from basanites to phonolites, while the Eocene volcanics range from picrobasalt to rhyolite. Modeling suggests that the felsic volcanics from both the Late Jurassic and Eocene events are consistent with fractional crystallization. Sr-Nd-Pb systematics for the Late Jurassic event suggests HIMU and EMII components in the magma source that we interpret as upper mantle components rather than crustal interaction. Lithospheric delamination is the best hypothesis for magmatism in Virginia/West Virginia, due to tectonic instabilities that are remnant from the long-term evolution of this margin, resulting in a “passive-aggressive” margin that records multiple magmatic events long after rifting ended.

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Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Post-rift magmatic evolution of the eastern North American “passive-aggressive” margin
Series title Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems
DOI 10.1002/2016GC006646
Volume 18
Issue 1
Year Published 2017
Language English
Publisher American Geophysical Union
Contributing office(s) Eastern Geology and Paleoclimate Science Center
Description 20 p.
First page 3
Last page 22
Country United States
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