Scenarios for microcontinent formation
Passive margins result from rifting and continental breakup, and often contain remnants of their rifting
history in their complex structural architecture. Seismic studies reveal that magma-poor and magma-rich
margins are not just a simple juxtaposition of oceanic and continental crust, but that the transition
between the oceanic and continental domains may include various crustal bodies such as microcontinents and
continental fragments. Microcontinents present a perplexing formation scenario: seafloor spreading ends in a
region that is already warm, and thus weak, and is initiated elsewhere in a region of stronger lithosphere.
In this project, we investigate various scenarios for microcontinent formation using dynamic numerical models.