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Yamato P.,CNRS Geosciences Laboratory of Rennes | Brun J.P.,CNRS Geosciences Laboratory of Rennes
Nature Geoscience | Year: 2017

When deeply buried in subduction zones, rocks undergo mineral transformations that record the increase of pressure and temperature. The fact that high-pressure metamorphic parageneses are found at the Earth's surface proves that rock burial is followed by exhumation. Here we use analysis of available data sets from high-pressure metamorphic rocks worldwide to show that the peak pressure is proportional to the subsequent decompression occurring during the initial stage of retrogression. We propose, using a simple mechanical analysis, that this linear relationship can be explained by the transition from burial-related compression to extension at the onset of exhumation. This major switch in orientation and magnitude of principal tectonic stresses leads to a catastrophic pressure drop prior to actual rock ascent. Therefore, peak pressures are not necessarily, as commonly believed, directly dependent on the maximum burial depth, but can also reflect a change of tectonic regime. Our results, which are in agreement with natural data, have significant implications for rock rheology, subduction zone seismicity, and the magnitudes of tectonic pressures sustained by rocks. Current views of subduction dynamics could be reconsidered in that perspective. © 2017 Macmillan Publishers Limited, part of Springer Nature. All rights reserved.


Jolivet L.,University Pierre and Marie Curie | Brun J.-P.,CNRS Geosciences Laboratory of Rennes
International Journal of Earth Sciences | Year: 2010

The Aegean region is a concentrate of the main geodynamic processes that shaped the Mediterranean region: oceanic and continental subduction, mountain building, high-pressure and low-temperature metamorphism, backarc extension, post-orogenic collapse, metamorphic core complexes, gneiss domes are the ingredients of a complex evolution that started at the end of the Cretaceous with the closure of the Tethyan ocean along the Vardar suture zone. Using available plate kinematic, geophysical, petrological and structural data, we present a synthetic tectonic map of the whole region encompassing the Balkans, Western Turkey, the Aegean Sea, the Hellenic Arc, the Mediterranean Ridge and continental Greece and we build a lithospheric-scale N-S cross-section from Crete to the Rhodope massif. We then describe the tectonic evolution of this cross-section with a series of reconstructions from ~70 Ma to the Present. We follow on the hypothesis that a single subduction has been active throughout most of the Mesozoic and the entire Cenozoic, and we show that the geological record is compatible with this hypothesis. The reconstructions show that continental subduction (Apulian and Pelagonian continental blocks) did not induce slab break-off in this case. Using this evolution, we discuss the mechanisms leading to the exhumation of metamorphic rocks and the subsequent formation of extensional metamorphic domes in the backarc region during slab retreat. The tectonic histories of the two regions showing large-scale extension, the Rhodope and the Cyclades are then compared. The respective contributions to slab retreat, post-orogenic extension and lower crust partial melting of changes in kinematic boundary conditions and in nature of subducting material, from continental to oceanic, are discussed. © 2008 Springer-Verlag.


Husson L.,CNRS Geosciences Laboratory of Rennes | Husson L.,CNRS Nantes Laboratory of Planetology and Geodynamics
Physics of the Earth and Planetary Interiors | Year: 2012

Trench motion and upper plate deformation ultimately respond to mantle flow. Herein I build upon the mantle flow model results of Conrad and Behn (2010) and compute the drag forces underneath all plates, and show that they control the dynamics of plates and plate boundaries. The small misfit angle between between the traction azimuths of mantle traction and absolute plate motion corroborates the idea that convective mantle drag is a prominent driver of plate tectonics. Less intuitive is the fact that the interplay between the drag forces from the upper and lower plates, that amounts to -5 to 8.5×1012Nm-1 (per unit trench length), dictates both trench migration rates and upper plate deformation. At odds with the classic view that assigns the prime role to the idiosyncrasies of subduction zones (slab age, interplate friction, water content etc), I find that the intrinsic properties of subduction zones in fact only modulate this behavior. More specifically, the mean value of the integrated trenchward mantle drag force from the lower and upper plates (from -2 to 6.5×1012Nm-1) controls upper plate deformation. Conversely, it is the difference between the lower and upper plates mantle drag forces (from -3 to 10×1012Nm-1) that controls trench migration rates. In addition, I find that a minimum trenchward force of ∼2.5×1012Nm-1 must be supplied by mantle drag before trenches can actually advance, and before upper plates undergo compression. This force results from the default tendency of slabs to rollback when solely excited by their own buoyancy, and is thus the effective tensional force that slab pull exerts on the plate interface. © 2012 Elsevier B.V.


Husson L.,CNRS Geosciences Laboratory of Rennes | Husson L.,CNRS Nantes Laboratory of Planetology and Geodynamics | Conrad C.P.,University of Hawaii at Manoa | Faccenna C.,Third University of Rome
Earth and Planetary Science Letters | Year: 2012

The geometric and kinematic evolution of the Andes provides insight onto the nature of the force balance beneath the South American plate. While the Andean load is opposed on its western edge by the force induced by subduction of the Nazca plate, its more elusive eastern counterpart, which we explore herein, requires some contribution from the mantle beneath the South Atlantic. Using a mantle flow model, we show that the Andes owe their existence to basal drag beneath South America caused by a cylindrical convection cell under the South Atlantic. We find that the observed Andean uplift requires both westward push from active upwelling beneath Africa and westward drag toward the downgoing Nazca slab. These mutually-reinforcing downwellings and upwellings amount to 38% and 23% of the total driving force, respectively. Further decomposition reveals that the South Atlantic cell is most vigorous near its center, rendering the net drag force higher where the Andes also reach their highest elevation. Kinematic reconstructions suggest that the South Atlantic cell could have grown owing to the migration of the Nazca slab until ~50. Ma. We propose that from 50. Ma onwards, the cell may have ceased growing westward because (i) it had reached an optimal aspect ratio and (ii) the Nazca slab became anchored into the lower mantle. Continued westward motion of the plates, however, moved the surface expressions of spreading and convergence away from the upwelling and downwelling arms of this cell. Evidence for this scenario comes from the coeval tectonic, morphologic, and magmatic events in Africa and South America during the Tertiary. © 2011 Elsevier B.V.


Scanlon B.R.,University of Texas at Austin | Longuevergne L.,CNRS Geosciences Laboratory of Rennes | Long D.,University of Texas at Austin
Water Resources Research | Year: 2012

There is increasing interest in using Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) satellite data to remotely monitor groundwater storage variations; however, comparisons with ground-based well data are limited but necessary to validate satellite data processing, especially when the study area is close to or below the GRACE footprint. The Central Valley is a heavily irrigated region with large-scale groundwater depletion during droughts. Here we compare updated estimates of groundwater storage changes in the California Central Valley using GRACE satellites with storage changes from groundwater level data. A new processing approach was applied that optimally uses available GRACE and water balance component data to extract changes in groundwater storage. GRACE satellites show that groundwater depletion totaled ∼31.0 ± 3.0 km 3 for Groupe de Recherche de Geodesie Spatiale (GRGS) satellite data during the drought from October 2006 through March 2010. Groundwater storage changes from GRACE agreed with those from well data for the overlap period (April 2006 through September 2009) (27 km 3 for both). General correspondence between GRACE and groundwater level data validates the methodology and increases confidence in use of GRACE satellites to monitor groundwater storage changes. Copyright 2012 by the American Geophysical Union.


Long D.,University of Texas at Austin | Longuevergne L.,CNRS Geosciences Laboratory of Rennes | Scanlon B.R.,University of Texas at Austin
Water Resources Research | Year: 2014

Proliferation of evapotranspiration (ET) products warrants comparison of these products. The study objective was to assess uncertainty in ET output from four land surface models (LSMs), Noah, Mosaic, VIC, and SAC in NLDAS-2, two remote sensing-based products, MODIS and AVHRR, and GRACE-inferred ET from a water budget with precipitation from PRISM, monitored runoff, and total water storage change (TWSC) from GRACE satellites. The three cornered hat method, which does not require a priori knowledge of the true ET value, was used to estimate ET uncertainties. In addition, TWSC or total water storage anomaly (TWSA) from GRACE was compared with water budget estimates of TWSC from a flux-based approach or TWSA from a storage-based approach. The analyses were conducted using data from three regions (humid-arid) in the South Central United States as case studies. Uncertainties in ET are lowest in LSM ET (∼5 mm/mo), moderate in MODIS or AVHRR-based ET (10-15 mm/mo), and highest in GRACE-inferred ET (20-30 mm/month). There is a trade-off between spatial resolution and uncertainty, with lower uncertainty in the coarser-resolution LSM ET (∼14 km) relative to higher uncertainty in the finer-resolution (∼1-8 km) RS ET. Root-mean-square (RMS) of uncertainties in water budget estimates of TWSC is about half of RMS of uncertainties in GRACE-derived TWSC for each of the regions. Future ET estimation should consider a hybrid approach that integrates strengths of LSMs and satellite-based products to constrain uncertainties. Key Points ET from LSMs, remote sensing and GRACE is evaluated Water budget closure using a range of LSM and RS products is performed Methods of driving TWSC from GRACE original TWSA are compared © 2014. American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.


Le Borgne T.,CNRS Geosciences Laboratory of Rennes | Dentz M.,Spanish National Research Council IDAEA CSIC | Villermaux E.,Aix - Marseille University
Physical Review Letters | Year: 2013

We study scalar mixing in heterogeneous conductivity fields, whose structural disorder varies from weak to strong. A range of stretching regimes is observed, depending on the level of structural heterogeneity, measured by the log-conductivity field variance. We propose a unified framework to quantify the overall concentration distribution predicting its shape and rate of deformation as it progresses toward uniformity in the medium. The scalar mixture is represented by a set of stretched lamellae whose rate of diffusive smoothing is locally enhanced by kinematic stretching. Overlap between the lamellae is enforced by confinement of the scalar line support within the dispersion area. Based on these elementary processes, we derive analytical expressions for the concentration distribution, resulting from the interplay between stretching, diffusion, and random overlaps, holding for all field heterogeneities, residence times, and Péclet numbers. © 2013 American Physical Society.


Cloutier R.,University of Quebec at Rimouski | Cloutier R.,CNRS Geosciences Laboratory of Rennes
Seminars in Cell and Developmental Biology | Year: 2010

One of the properties of fossils is to provide unique ontogenies that have the potential to inform us of developmental patterns and processes in the past. Although fossilized ontogenies are fairly rare, size series of relatively complete specimens for more than 90 fish species have been documented in the literature. These fossilized ontogenies are known for most major phylogenetic groups of fishes and have a broad stratigraphic range extending from the Silurian to the Quaternary with a good representation during the Devonian. Classically, size series have been studied in terms of size and shape differences, where subsequently allometric changes were used as indicators of heterochronic changes in Paleozoic placoderms and sarcopterygians. Quantitative analyses of fossilized ontogenies of dipnoans have been interpreted in terms of morphological integration and fluctuating asymmetry. Recently, reconstructed sequences of ossification have been used to identify recurrent patterns of similar development in actinopterygians and sarcopterygians in order to infer phenotypic developmental modularity and saltatory pattern of development. Phylogenetic and temporal landmarks are put forward for some of the major developmental patterns in the evolution of fishes. © 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


Vullo R.,CNRS Geosciences Laboratory of Rennes
Naturwissenschaften | Year: 2011

Sharks are known to have been ammonoid predators, as indicated by analysis of bite marks or coprolite contents. However, body fossil associations attesting to this predator-prey relationship have never been described so far. Here, I report a unique finding from the Late Jurassic of western France: a complete specimen of the Kimmeridgian ammonite Orthaspidoceras bearing one tooth of the hybodont shark Planohybodus. Some possible tooth puncture marks are also observed. This is the first direct evidence of such a trophic link between these two major Mesozoic groups, allowing an accurate identification of both organisms. Although Planohybodus displays a tearing-type dentition generally assumed to have been especially adapted for large unshelled prey, our discovery clearly shows that this shark was also able to attack robust ammonites such as aspidoceratids. The direct evidence presented here provides new insights into the Mesozoic marine ecosystem food webs. © 2011 Springer-Verlag.


Lague D.,CNRS Geosciences Laboratory of Rennes
Earth Surface Processes and Landforms | Year: 2014

The stream power incision model (SPIM) is a cornerstone of quantitative geomorphology. It states that river incision rate is the product of drainage area and channel slope raised to the power exponents m and n, respectively. It is widely used to predict patterns of deformation from channel long profile inversion or to model knickpoint migration and landscape evolution. Numerous studies have attempted to test its applicability with mixed results prompting the question of its validity. This paper synthesizes these results, highlights the SPIM deficiencies, and offers new insights into the role of incision thresholds and channel width. By reviewing quantitative data on incising rivers, I first propose six sets of field evidence that any long-term incision model should be able to predict. This analysis highlights several inconsistencies of the standard SPIM. Next, I discuss the methods used to construct physics-based long-term incision laws. I demonstrate that all published incising river datasets away from knickpoints or knickzones are in a regime dominated by threshold effects requiring an explicit upscaling of flood stochasticity neglected in the standard SPIM and other incision models. Using threshold-stochastic simulations with dynamic width, I document the existence of composite transient dynamics where knickpoint propagation locally obeys a linear SPIM (n=1) while other part of the river obey a non-linear SPIM (n>1). The threshold-stochastic SPIM resolves some inconsistencies of the standard SPIM and matches steady-state field evidence when width is not sensitive to incision rate. However it fails to predict the scaling of slope with incision rate for cases where width decreases with incision rate. Recent proposed models of dynamic width cannot resolve these deficiencies. An explicit upscaling of sediment flux and threshold-stochastic effects combined with dynamic width should take us beyond the SPIM which is shown here to have a narrow range of validity. © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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