Thermomechanical models of the Rio Grande rift

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Fully two-dimensional, coupled thermochemical solutions of a continental rift and platform are used to model the crust and mantle structure of a hot, buoyant mantle diapir beneath the Rio Grande rift. The thermomechanical model includes both linear and nonlinear laws of the Weertman type relating shear stress and creep strain rate, viscosity which depends on temperature and pressure, and activation energy, temperature-dependent thermal conductivity, temperature-dependent coefficient of thermal expansion, the Boussinesq approximation for thermal bouyancy, material convection using a stress rate that is invariant to rigid rotations, an elastically deformable crust, and a free surface. The model determines the free ... continued below

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Pages: 35

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Bridwell, R.J. & Anderson, C.A. January 1, 1980.

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Description

Fully two-dimensional, coupled thermochemical solutions of a continental rift and platform are used to model the crust and mantle structure of a hot, buoyant mantle diapir beneath the Rio Grande rift. The thermomechanical model includes both linear and nonlinear laws of the Weertman type relating shear stress and creep strain rate, viscosity which depends on temperature and pressure, and activation energy, temperature-dependent thermal conductivity, temperature-dependent coefficient of thermal expansion, the Boussinesq approximation for thermal bouyancy, material convection using a stress rate that is invariant to rigid rotations, an elastically deformable crust, and a free surface. The model determines the free surface velocities, solid state flow field in the mantle, and viscosity structure of lithosphere and asthenosphere. Regional topography and crustal heat flow are simulated. A suite of symmetric models, assumes continental geotherms on the right and the successively increasing rift geotherms on the left. These models predict an asthenospheric flow field which transfers cold material laterally toward the rift at > 300 km, hot, buoyant material approx. 200 km wide which ascends vertically at rates of 1 km/my between 175 to 325 km, and spreads laterally away from the rift at the base of the lithosphere. Crustal spreading rates are similar to uplift rates. The lithosphere acts as stiff, elastic cap, damping upward motion through decreased velocities of 1 km/10 my and spreading uplift laterally. A parameter study varying material coefficients for the Weertman flow law suggests asthenospheric viscosities of approx. 10/sup 22/ to 10/sup 23/ poise. Similar studies predict crustal viscosities of approx. 10/sup 25/ poise. The buoyant process of mantle flow narrows and concentrates heat transport beneath the rift, increases upward velocity, and broadly arches the lithosphere. 10 figures, 1 table.

Physical Description

Pages: 35

Notes

Dep. NTIS, PC A03/MF A01.

Source

  • Conference on the mechanisms of continental drift and plate tectonics, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, UK, Apr 1979

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  • Report No.: LA-UR-80-224
  • Report No.: CONF-7904122-1
  • Grant Number: W-7405-ENG-36
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 5608829
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc1092723

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Creation Date

  • January 1, 1980

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • Feb. 10, 2018, 10:06 p.m.

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  • May 30, 2018, 1:08 p.m.

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Bridwell, R.J. & Anderson, C.A. Thermomechanical models of the Rio Grande rift, article, January 1, 1980; New Mexico. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc1092723/: accessed December 13, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.