The magnetic structure of continental-oceanic transition zones

Project Details


One of the Earth’s most fundamental processes is continental breakup, where continental rifting is followed by the formation of new mid-ocean ridges and the opening of oceanic basins. Remnants of the breakup process and the transition zones between continental and oceanic lithosphere are preserved along ‘passive margins’ that are now straddle for about 105,000 km. Passive margins serve as a sink for a large amount of organic material that represents most of discovered conventional hydrocarbons thus, understanding their formation and thermal history has implications for our ability to detect future hydrocarbon provinces and constrain their maturity state. Passive margins also record the geodynamic interplay between deep mantle processes and the relatively shallow plate tectonic processes. Although considerable progress has been made towards understanding the processes affecting passive margins, a number of aspects remain controversial. Here we will develop a new approach to study passive margins by analyzing a global aeromagnetic database. These vector measurements, a kind of data that has never been used before in the context of passive margins, is expected to allow us to improve our understanding of the structure and thermal setting of passive margins. This knowledge will not only be useful for passive margins, but the study will also have a significant impact in many other topics such as the oldest oceanic crust, potential field analysis, geodynamics, geomagnetic field, and energy resources.

Effective start/end date1/01/16 → …


  • United States-Israel Binational Science Foundation (BSF)


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