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    Initiation of a proto‐transform fault prior to seafloor spreading

    Ilsley-Kemp, F. and Bull, J.-M. and Keir, D. and Gerya, T.V. and Pagli, C. and Gernon, T. and Ayele, A. and Goitom, B. and Hammond, James O.S. and Kendall, J.-M. (2018) Initiation of a proto‐transform fault prior to seafloor spreading. Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems 19 (12), pp. 4744-4756. ISSN 1525-2027.

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    Transform faults are a fundamental tenet of plate tectonics, connecting offset extensional segments of mid‐ocean ridges in ocean basins worldwide. The current consensus is that oceanic transform faults initiate after the onset of seafloor spreading. However, this inference has been difficult to test given the lack of direct observations of transform fault formation. Here, we integrate evidence from surface faults, geodetic measurements, local seismicity, and numerical modelling of the subaerial Afar continental rift and show that a proto‐transform fault is initiating during the final stages of continental breakup. This is the first direct observation of proto‐transform fault initiation in a continental rift, and sheds unprecedented light on their formation mechanisms. We demonstrate that they can initiate during late‐stage continental rifting, earlier in the rifting cycle than previously thought. Future studies of volcanic rifted margins cannot assume that oceanic transform faults initiated after the onset of seafloor spreading.


    Item Type: Article
    Keyword(s) / Subject(s): Transform Fault, Continental Rifting, East African Rift
    School: School of Science > Earth and Planetary Sciences > UCL/Birkbeck Centre for Planetary Sciences
    School of Science > Earth and Planetary Sciences
    Research Centres and Institutes: Earth and Planetary Sciences, Institute of
    Depositing User: James Hammond
    Date Deposited: 17 Dec 2018 14:34
    Last Modified: 17 Aug 2022 01:14


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