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Cenozoic evolution of Neotethys and implications for the causes of plate motions

McQuarrie, N. and Stock, J. M. and Verdel, C. and Wernicke, B. P. (2003) Cenozoic evolution of Neotethys and implications for the causes of plate motions. Geophysical Research Letters, 30 (20). Art. No. 2036. ISSN 0094-8276. http://resolver.caltech.edu/CaltechAUTHORS:20101123-103005860

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Abstract

Africa-North America-Eurasia plate circuit rotations, combined with Red Sea rotations and new estimates of crustal shortening in Iran define the Cenozoic history of the Neotethyan ocean between Arabia and Eurasia. The new constraints indicate that Arabia-Eurasia convergence has been fairly constant at 2 to 3 cm/yr since 56 Ma with slowing of Africa-Eurasia motion to <1 cm/yr near 25 Ma, coeval with the opening of the Red Sea. Ocean closure occurred no later than 10 Ma, and could have occurred prior to this time only if a large amount of continental lithosphere was subducted, suggesting that slowing of Africa significantly predated the Arabia-Eurasia collision. These kinematics imply that Africa's disconnection with the negative buoyancy of the downgoing slab of lithosphere beneath southern Eurasia slowed its motion. The slow, steady rate of northward subduction since 56 Ma contrasts with strongly variable rates of magma production in the Urumieh-Dokhtar arc, implying magma production rate in continental arcs is not linked to subduction rate.


Item Type:Article
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1029/2003GL017992 DOIUNSPECIFIED
http://www.agu.org/pubs/crossref/2003/2003GL017992.shtmlPublisherUNSPECIFIED
Additional Information:© 2003 American Geophysical Union. Received 17 June 2003; revised 26 August 2003; accepted 2 September 2003; published 21 October 2003. We thank Peter Molnar and Dietmar Mueller for their reviews. This work was supported by the Caltech Tectonic Observatory.
Group:Caltech Tectonics Observatory
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Caltech Tectonics ObservatoryUNSPECIFIED
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Caltech Tectonics Observatory18
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20101123-103005860
Persistent URL:http://resolver.caltech.edu/CaltechAUTHORS:20101123-103005860
Official Citation:McQuarrie, N., J. M. Stock, C. Verdel, and B. P. Wernicke (2003), Cenozoic evolution of Neotethys and implications for the causes of plate motions, Geophys. Res. Lett., 30(20), 2036, doi:10.1029/2003GL017992
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:20980
Collection:CaltechAUTHORS
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:23 Nov 2010 22:09
Last Modified:26 Dec 2012 12:40

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