Crustal structure of the northern Nova Scotia rifted continental margin (eastern Canada)

Thomas Funck, H. Ruth Jackson, Keith E. Louden, Sonya A. Dehler, Yue Wu

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskriftArtikelForskningpeer review

100 Citationer (Scopus)


The Nova Scotia continental margin off eastern Canada marks a transition from a volcanic to a nonvolcanic style of rifting. The northern (nonvolcanic) segment of the margin was studied by a 490-km-long refraction seismic line with dense air gun shots, coincident with previous deep reflection profiles. A P wave velocity model was developed from forward and inverse modeling of the wide-angle data from 19 ocean bottom seismometers and coincident normal incidence reflection profiles. The continental crust has a maximum thickness of 36 km and is divided into three layers with velocities of 5.7-6.9 km/s. Crustal thinning down to 3 km occurs in a 180-km-wide zone and the sediment cover in this area is up to 15 km thick. Farther seaward, a 150-km-wide transition zone is observed with a 5-km-thick lower layer (7.2-7.6 km/s) interpreted as partially serpentinized mantle. At the landward end, this layer is overlain by highly altered continental crust (5.4 km/s) extending up to the seaward limit of the Jurassic salt province. Farther seaward, the upper layer is interpreted as exhumed and highly serpentinized mantle (5.1 km/s) separated from the lower layer by subhorizontal reflectivity, which probably represents a serpentinization front. Oceanic crustal thickness is 4 km with layer 2 velocities of 4.6-5.0 km/s. Layer 3 velocities of 6.4-6.55 km/s are lower than typical lower oceanic crust velocities but consistent with a low magma supply and increased tectonism as observed on the reflection profile. This reduced magma production might be related to the proximity of the Newfoundland transform margin.

Antal sider19
TidsskriftJournal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth
Udgave nummerB9
StatusUdgivet - 10 sep. 2004
Udgivet eksterntJa


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