Datapages, Inc.Print this page

ODP Leg 107 Results from Continental Margin East of Sardinia (Mediterranean Sea): A Transect Across a Very Young Passive Margin

Kim A. Kastens, Jean Mascle, C. Auroux, E. Bonatti, C. Broglia, J. Channell, P. Curzi, K. Emeis, G. Glacon, S. Hasegawa, W. Hieke, G. Mascle, F. McCoy, J. McKenzie, J. Mendelson, C. Muller, J.-P. Rehault, A. Robertson, R. Sartori, R. Sprovieri, M. Torii

A 200-km wide zone east of Sardinia, characterized by thin continental crust with tilted, listric(?)-fault-bounded blocks, has been interpreted as a passive continental margin formed during back-arc opening of the Tyrrhenian Sea. Leg 107 of the Ocean Drilling Project drilled a transect of four sites across this margin plus three sites in the basaltic basin.

Site 654, closest to Sardinia, recovered a transgressive sequence attributed to basin subsidence: coarse-grained, iron-oxide rich, subaerial conglomerates underlie oyster-bearing sands followed upsection by open-water Tortonian marine marls. The synrift sequence, as inferred from seismic reflection profiles, correlates with sediments of Tortonian to Messinian age. Farther east the synrift sediments are younger: site 652, near the continental/oceanic transition, recovered an inferred synrift sequence of Messinian to early Pliocene age.

The pan-Mediterranean Messinian desiccation event is represented at the western two sites (654 and 653) by a basinal facies including laminated gypsum, whereas at the eastern two sites the Messinian facies are terrestrial (lacustrine at 652 and subaerial at 656). We therefore infer that subsidence was more advanced at the western sites than at the eastern sites as of 5 Ma.

Leg 107 results suggest that subsidence and stretching were diachronous across the passive margin, beginning and ending several million years earlier in the west than in the east. This asynchroneity may result from the inherent asymmetry of back-arc basin opening, or it may be a common characteristic of passive margins which has been revealed by the unusually precise time resolution of this data set.

AAPG Search and Discovery Article #91038©1987 AAPG Annual Convention, Los Angeles, California, June 7-10, 1987.