The initiation of rifting at constant tectonic force: role of diffusion creep

John R. Hopper, W. Roger Buck

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskriftArtikelForskningpeer review

46 Citationer (Scopus)


The effect of diffusion creep on lithospheric extension was investigated using a one-dimensional numerical model that assumes a constant force is available to drive extension. The model is motivated by the fact that continental areas with average heat flow should be too strong to rift using standard estimates of lithospheric strength. However, such areas do rift and diffusion creep is a mechanism by which lithosphere may deform at a lower stress level than is required for the usually assumed dislocation creep. Diffusion creep is more efficient at smaller grain sizes and the model results indicate that mantle grain sizes would have to be less than 1 mm for diffusion creep to significantly reduce the critical force. During the initial stages of continental rifting, grain size reduction and diffusion creep deformation mechanisms may have an important effect on lithospheric strength. -from Authors

Sider (fra-til)16,213-16,221
Antal sider9
TidsskriftJournal of Geophysical Research
Udgave nummerB9
StatusUdgivet - 10 sep. 1993
Udgivet eksterntJa


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