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Granier B.,CNRS Oceanic Domains Laboratory | Busnardo R.,Chemin Meruzin
Cretaceous Research | Year: 2013

During Aptian times the northeastern corner of the African plate, the Arabian craton, was in the tropics. Two-thirds of it was covered by a broad epeiric sea opening eastward into the Tethys Ocean. Carbonate sedimentation recorded several environmental perturbations caused by changes in relative sea-level and by interconnected coeval global events. A well in offshore Abu Dhabi was used as the reference because it was drilled through the whole of the interval of interest and cored strata dated Gargasian (middle Aptian sensu gallico, early late Aptian sensu anglico) downward to beds of Late Barremian age. The holostratigraphic approach employing biostratigraphy, lithostratigraphy and sequence stratigraphy, along with basic well log interpretation and δ13C-based chemostratigraphy, facilitated correlation with outcrops in Iran and Oman, and with other wells in Iraq, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates, over distances of several hundreds of kilometers. This approach made possible refinement of our regional model for this interval and the identification of a set of events that included several forced regressions, transgressions of varying importance (by extension in the literature those floodings of greatest magnitude have been called " drownings" ), the Oceanic Anoxic Sub-Event 1a and a microbial Bacinella " bloom" © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.

Babonneau N.,CNRS Oceanic Domains Laboratory | Cremer M.,University of Bordeaux 1 | Bez M.,Total S.A.
Journal of Sedimentary Research | Year: 2010

Sinuous deep-water channels are recognized in most large deep-sea fans in the world. They present a particular interest to oil companies, since they are significant hydrocarbon reservoirs in deep offshore environments. The understanding of their geometries and their internal sedimentary architecture is necessary to better characterize reservoir heterogeneity of sinuous submarine channels. Therefore, numerous studies have been undertaken recently to better understand the behavior and sedimentary architecture of deep-water channels. The aim of this paper is to present our results concerning the development of the meandering channel of the present Congo turbidite system (or Zaire turbidite system). The study is based on high-resolution data including multibeam bathymetry, seismic lines, echosounder profiles, high-resolution side-scan sonar images, and gravity cores, collected by IFREMER along the submarine Congo channel between 1994 and 2000, during Guiness and ZaiAngo surveys. The present Congo turbidite channel is a long incised turbidite channel. It is presently active. It has been built gradually by progradation of the distal depositional area. The most distal part of the channel is the youngest part and shows an immature morphology: the channel presents a low incision and a low sinuosity. In contrast, the upper part of the channel has undergone a long evolutionary history. Its pathway is mature and complex, with numerous abandoned meanders visible in the morphology. This paper presents evidence of progressive channel migration and meander development of the Congo channel. It describes and explains the presence of terraces inside the channel. The detailed characterization of channel morphology and migration geometry shows that the evolution of the channel path is very similar to fluvial meandering systems with (1) lateral meander extension or growing, (2) downstream translation of the thalweg, and (3) meander cutoff. Seismic and 3.5 kHz echosounder profiles show that the terraces, which are visible in the seafloor morphology, are not the imprints of incisional processes. Terraces are true depositional units infilling the channel. They are built during and after the lateral migration of the channel. They are composed of (1) point-bar deposits and (2) inner-levee deposits aggrading above the point bar deposits. Point-bar deposits are characterized by low-angle oblique reflectors forming deposits with a sigmoidal shape. They seem very similar to those observed in fluvial systems. The similarity between fluvial and turbidite point bars suggests that the basal part of the turbidity currents flowing in this channel can be considered as very similar to river flow. With the high-resolution dataset collected in a present Congo turbidite channel, we provide a new description of the channel morphology and evolution, at a "reservoir" scale, intermediate between outcrop observations and 2D and 3D seismic data. The detailed interpretation of intrachannel sedimentation, associated with lateral channel migration, also provides new data for interpretation of flow dynamics in submarine meandering channels. Copyright © 2010, SEPM (Society for Sedimentary Geology).

Dumont T.,French National Center for Scientific Research | Simon-Labric T.,CNRS Oceanic Domains Laboratory | Authemayou C.,CNRS Oceanic Domains Laboratory | Heymes T.,French National Center for Scientific Research
Tectonics | Year: 2011

The initial propagation of the Western Alpine orogen was directed northwestward, as shown by basement-involved and Mesozoic sedimentary cover compressional structures and by the early foreland basins evolution. The crystalline basement of the Dauphiné zone recorded three shortening episodes: pre-Priabonian deformation D1 (coeval with the Pyrenean-Provence orogeny), and Alpine shortening events D2 (N-NW directed) and D3 (W-directed). The early Oligocene D2 structures are trending sub-perpendicular to the more recent, arcuate orogen and are interfering with (or truncated by) D3, which marks the onset of westward lateral extrusion. The NW-ward propagating Alpine flexural basin shows earliest Oligocene thin-skinned compressional deformation, with syn-depositional basin-floor tilting and submarine removal of the basin infill above active structures. Gravity enhanced submarine erosion gave birth locally to steep submarine slopes overlain by kilometric-scale blocks slid from the orogenic wedge. The deformations of the basin floor and the associated sedimentary and erosional features indicate a N-NW-ward directed propagation, consistent with D2 in the Dauphiné foreland. The Internal zones represent the paleo-accretionary prism developed during this early Alpine continental subduction stage. The early buildup has been curved in the arc and rapidly exhumed during the Oligocene collision stage. Westward extrusion and indenting by the Apulian lithosphere allowed the modern arc to crosscut the western, lateral termination of the ancient orogen from ∼32 Ma onward. This contrasted evolution leads to propose a palinspastic restoration taking in account important northward transport of the distal passive margin fragments (Brianonnais) involved in the accretionary prism before the formation of the Western Alps arc. Copyright 2011 by the American Geophysical Union.

Booth A.M.,California Institute of Technology | Lamb M.P.,California Institute of Technology | Avouac J.-P.,California Institute of Technology | Delacourt C.,CNRS Oceanic Domains Laboratory
Geophysical Research Letters | Year: 2013

Quantifying the velocity, volume, and rheology of deep, slow-moving landslides is essential for hazard prediction and understanding landscape evolution, but existing field-based methods are difficult or impossible to implement at remote sites. Here we present a novel and widely applicable method for constraining landslide 3-D deformation and thickness by inverting surface change data from repeat stereo imagery. Our analysis of La Clapière, an ~1 km2 bedrock landslide, reveals a concave-up failure surface with considerable roughness over length scales of tens of meters. Calibrating the thickness model with independent, local thickness measurements, we find a maximum thickness of 163 m and a rheology consistent with distributed deformation of the highly fractured landslide material, rather than sliding of an intact, rigid block. The technique is generally applicable to any mass movements that can be monitored by active or historic remote sensing. Key Points We invert landslide velocity and elevation change data for the 3D slip surface La Clapiere landslide has a maximum thickness of 163m and volume of 38million m3 Distributed deformation, rather than block sliding, best fits observations. © 2013. American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.

Pringle E.A.,Washington University in St. Louis | Savage P.S.,Washington University in St. Louis | Badro J.,CNRS Paris Institute of Global Physics | Barrat J.-A.,CNRS Oceanic Domains Laboratory | Moynier F.,Washington University in St. Louis
Earth and Planetary Science Letters | Year: 2013

Core formation is the main differentiation event in the history of a planet. However, the chemical composition of planetary cores and the physicochemical conditions prevailing during core formation remain poorly understood. The asteroid 4-Vesta is the smallest extant planetary body known to have differentiated a metallic core. Howardite, Eucrite, Diogenite (HED) meteorites, which are thought to sample 4-Vesta, provide us with an opportunity to study core formation in planetary embryos.Partitioning of elements between the core and mantle of a planet fractionates their isotopes according to formation conditions. One such element, silicon, shows large isotopic fractionation between metal and silicate, and its partitioning into a metallic core is only possible under very distinctive conditions of pressure, oxygen fugacity and temperature. Therefore, the silicon isotope system is a powerful tracer with which to study core formation in planetary bodies. Here we show through high-precision measurement of Si stable isotopes that HED meteorites are significantly enriched in the heavier isotopes compared to chondrites. This is consistent with the core of 4-Vesta containing at least 1. wt% of Si, which in turn suggests that 4-Vesta's differentiation occurred under more reducing conditions (δIW~-4) than those previously suggested from analysis of the distribution of moderately siderophile elements in HEDs. © 2013 Elsevier B.V.

Rooney T.O.,Michigan State University | Mohr P.,Tonagharraun | Dosso L.,CNRS Oceanic Domains Laboratory | Hall C.,University of Michigan
Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta | Year: 2013

The Afar triple junction, where the Red Sea, Gulf of Aden and African Rift System extension zones converge, is a pivotal domain for the study of continental-to-oceanic rift evolution. The western margin of Afar forms the southernmost sector of the western margin of the Red Sea rift where that margin enters the Ethiopian flood basalt province. Tectonism and volcanism at the triple junction had commenced by ∼31Ma with crustal fissuring, diking and voluminous eruption of the Ethiopian-Yemen flood basalt pile. The dikes which fed the Oligocene-Quaternary lava sequence covering the western Afar rift margin provide an opportunity to probe the geochemical reservoirs associated with the evolution of a still active continental margin. 40Ar/39Ar geochronology reveals that the western Afar margin dikes span the entire history of rift evolution from the initial Oligocene flood basalt event to the development of focused zones of intrusion in rift marginal basins. Major element, trace element and isotopic (Sr-Nd-Pb-Hf) data demonstrate temporal geochemical heterogeneities resulting from variable contributions from the Afar plume, depleted asthenospheric mantle, and African lithosphere. The various dikes erupted between 31Ma and 22Ma all share isotopic signatures attesting to a contribution from the Afar plume, indicating this initial period in the evolution of the Afar margin was one of magma-assisted weakening of the lithosphere. From 22Ma to 12Ma, however, diffuse diking during continued evolution of the rift margin facilitated ascent of magmas in which depleted mantle and lithospheric sources predominated, though contributions from the Afar plume persisted. After 10Ma, magmatic intrusion migrated eastwards towards the Afar rift floor, with an increasing fraction of the magmas derived from depleted mantle with less of a lithospheric signature. The dikes of the western Afar margin reveal that magma generation processes during the evolution of this continental rift margin are increasingly dominated by shallow decompressional melting of the ambient asthenosphere, the composition of which may in part be controlled by preferential channeling of plume material along the developing neo-oceanic axes of extension. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.

Calcareous green algae (CGA) are an artificially united but highly heterogeneous group of large unicellular benthic algae with one character in common: all have the capability of secreting a calcareous coating on the outer side of the cytoplasmic envelope. Today, they are a major contributor to carbonate sedimentation at all scales from clay-sized particles (aragonitic needles) to coarser grains (sand and gravel) and even to plurimetric sedimentary structures. There are fossil analogues to the features listed above. Phycologists know best Halimeda, Penicillus, Acetabularia and Cymopolia; micropaleontologists and carbonate sedimentologists are most knowledgeable about Acicularia, Clypeina, Neoteutloporella, Salpingoporella, Anthracoporella, Boueina, and Eugonophyllum. The CaCO 3 precipitated to form the coating is generally aragonite (the orthorhombic form) but there are short periods in the geologic record during which its calcite variant (the rhombohedric form) existed contemporaneously in discrete species. Recent studies on Halimeda have shown that some of the Bryopsidales have the capability to calcify strongly in the lower portion of the euphotic zone (where respiration becomes more important than photosynthesis in the process of mineralization) and to produce positive sedimentary reliefs (bioherms) in situ below the fair-weather wave base. Previous models of paleoenvironments considered the presence of Dasycladales or Bryopsidales to indicate shallow-water, that is the upper euphotic zone (from the sea surface down to -25 m), and predominantly low-energy, protected, lagoonal environments. When the algal remains were found in grain-supported facies, they were taken to have been subjected to dynamic transport and therefore indicative of high-energy environments of deposition. The new deeper-water finds have changed interpretations of the environments ascribed fossil algae. A current conception is that ancestral inarticulated Bryopsidales could have grown at depths as great as -120 m (near the base of the lower euphotic zone). This preliminary review concludes with suggestions about fields for continuing investigations. © Publications Scientifiques du Muséum national d'Histoire naturelle, Paris.

Clog M.,CNRS Paris Institute of Global Physics | Aubaud C.,CNRS Paris Institute of Global Physics | Cartigny P.,CNRS Paris Institute of Global Physics | Dosso L.,CNRS Oceanic Domains Laboratory
Earth and Planetary Science Letters | Year: 2013

In this paper, we re-investigate the isotopic composition of hydrogen in MORB and the possible effects of contamination on δD and water content. A suite of 40 N-MORB from the Pacific-Antarctic ridge, far from any hotspot, was analyzed for chlorine content by electron microprobe and for water content and δD with silica tubes. Cl concentrations (from 29 to 2400 ppm) indicate widespread contamination, more intense with faster spreading rates, while water contents (from 840 to 7800 ppm) are mainly controlled by igneous processes. δD values range from -76 to -48‰, with an average value of -61‰. The lack of correlation between Cl content and either H2O/Ce or δD indicate that contamination has a negligible effect on δD for our samples, which is therefore characteristic of the mantle below the Pacific-Antarctic ridge. We suggest that the 20‰ lower δD value reported for the North Pacific and North Atlantic is highly unlikely from geodynamical arguments. We propose that the convecting mantle is characterized by a δD of -60 ± 5‰, as supported by the most recent data from North Atlantic N-MORB. © 2013 Elsevier B.V.

Moynier F.,Washington University in St. Louis | Agranier A.,CNRS Oceanic Domains Laboratory | Hezel D.C.,Natural History Museum in London | Bouvier A.,Arizona State University
Earth and Planetary Science Letters | Year: 2010

High-precision stable Sr isotopic variations (88Sr/86Sr) are reported in a variety of terrestrial samples, martian and lunar meteorites, HED, undifferentiated primitive meteorites, chondrules and refractory inclusions. Almost all the whole-rock samples are isotopically indistinguishable at a 50parts per million (ppm) level. The exceptions are CV and CO chondrites which are isotopically light and for which we believe that their isotopic composition is controlled by the proportion of refractory material. Five separated chondrules and one refractory inclusion from Allende are isotopically light, with δ88/86Sr fractionations up to δ1.73‰, whereas the matrix is enriched in the heavy isotopes (δ88/86Sr=+0.66‰). The depletion in heavy isotopes observed in chondrules and refractory inclusions could be attributed to the condensation of a material already depleted in Sr, however, in that case more than 60% of the original material would be unaccounted. We propose instead that isotopic fractionation by electromagnetic sorting of ionized heavy Sr from neutral Sr in the early solar system for the origin of the fractionation observed in refractory inclusions and redistribution of Sr by aqueous alteration for the origin of the fractionation observed in chondrules and matrix. We conclude that CV and CO chondrites are not the primary building blocks for Earth and Mars. © 2010 Elsevier B.V.

Barrat J.-A.,CNRS Oceanic Domains Laboratory | Yamaguchi A.,Japan National Institute of Polar Research | Yamaguchi A.,Tokyo University of Science
Meteoritics and Planetary Science | Year: 2014

Mandler and Elkins-Tanton recently proposed an upgraded magma ocean model for the differentiation history of the giant asteroid 4 Vesta. They show that a combination of both equilibrium crystallization and fractional crystallization processes can reproduce the major element compositions of eucritic melts and broadly the range of mineral compositions observed in diogenites. They assert that their model accounts for all the howardites, eucrites, and diogenites (HEDs), and use it to predict the crustal thickness and the proportions of the various lithologies. Here, we show that their model fails to explain the trace element diversity of the diogenites, contrary to their claim. The diversity of the heavy REE enrichment exhibited by the orthopyroxenes in diogenites is inconsistent with crystallization of these cumulates in either shallow magma chambers replenished by melts from a magma ocean or in a magma ocean. Thus, proportions of the various HED lithologies and the crustal thickness predicted from this model are not necessarily valid. © The Meteoritical Society, 2014.

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