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    Cenozoic Dynamic Topography of Madagascar

    Stephenson, S.N. and White, N.J. and Carter, Andrew and Seward, D. and Ball, P.W. and Klocklng, M. (2021) Cenozoic Dynamic Topography of Madagascar. Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems 22 (e2020G), pp. 1-38. ISSN 1525-2027.

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    It has been proposed that Oligo-Miocene regional uplift of Madagascar was generated and is maintained by mantle dynamical processes. Expressions of regional uplift include flat-lying Upper Cretaceous-Paleogene marine limestones that crop out at elevations of hundreds of meters along the western seaboard and emergent Quaternary coral-rich terraces that rim the coastline. Here, we explore the history of subcrustal topographic support through a combined analysis of four sets of observational constraints. First, we exploit published receiver function estimates of crustal thickness and spectral admittance between gravity and topography. An admittance value of ∼+40 ± 10 mGal km−1 at wavelengths >500 km implies that ∼1 km of topography is supported by subcrustal processes. Secondly, new apatite fission-track and helium measurements from 18 basement samples are inverted, constraining temperature and denudation histories. Results suggest that 0.5–1.6 km of regional uplift occurred after ∼30 Ma. Thirdly, we calculate a history of regional uplift by minimizing the misfit between observed and calculated longitudinal river profiles. Results suggest that topography was generated during Neogene times. Finally, inverse modeling of rare earth element concentrations in Neogene mafic rocks indicates that melting of the asthenospheric source occurred at depths of ≤65 km with potential temperatures of 1300–1370 °C. Melting occurred at higher temperatures beneath Réunion Island and northern Madagascar and at lower temperatures beneath the Comores and southern Madagascar. These inferences are consistent with shear wave velocities obtained from tomographic models. We conclude that Madagascar is underlain by thinned lithospheric mantle and that a thermal anomaly lies within an asthenospheric layer beneath northern Madagascar.


    Item Type: Article
    School: Birkbeck Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Science > School of Natural Sciences
    Research Centres and Institutes: Earth and Planetary Sciences, Institute of
    Depositing User: Andy Carter
    Date Deposited: 06 Jul 2021 15:22
    Last Modified: 02 Aug 2023 18:11


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