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Title: Inverse modelling of extensional sedimentary basins and margins
Author: Edwards, G. R. H.
Awarding Body: University of Cambridge
Current Institution: University of Cambridge
Date of Award: 2006
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In this dissertation, a fully depth-dependent 2D kinematic model of the litho­sphere is developed. This forward model forms the basis of an inversion scheme capable of recovering the temporal and spatial strain rate history of a basin from present-day observed stratigraphic and subsidence data. The inversion scheme does not assume any a priori form for the strain rate distribution and unlike previous inversion schemes does not assume that the strain rate is invariant with depth (White and Bellingham, 2002). The depth-dependent inversion is applied to two sedimentary basins. Data from the Northern North Sea is used to benchmark the new code against the previous 2D inversion scheme and the Gulf of Suez is studied in detail using newly collated stratigraphic profiles from across the region. The Gulf of Suez is found to have stretched by 12-18 km in two rift phases at 23-18 Ma and 14-11 Ma. Depth­-dependent stretching appears to be more important in the Southern Gulf than in the north. In the south, stretching factors beneath uplifted regions are higher in the mantle than in the crust. Data from three passive margins is also inverted. The inversion scheme provides little evidence for depth-dependent stretching in the Eastern Black Sea. However, the stratigraphic data from the Pearl River Mouth basin and Angolan Margin can be more faithfully reproduced when depth-dependent effects are included. In all cases, recovered strain rates and timings of rift events are consistent with published values. Using the inversion scheme developed within this dissertation allowed results to be obtained with no a priori assumptions about the form or timing of the rifting periods.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available