Detachment and steep normal faulting in Atlantic oceanic crust west of Africa

Timothy Reston, O. Ruoff, J. H. McBride*, C. R. Ranero, R. S. White

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


Improved images of the internal structure of Early Cretaceous North Atlantic crust reveal both probable detachment faults and more steeply dipping normal faults. The detachment faults occur as subhorizontal structures passing ∼1.5 km beneath fault blocks without offset; several steeper block-bounding faults appear to detach onto these structures. However, the detachments are bounded to the west (ridgeward) by presumably younger, more steeply west-dipping normal faults. In one possible interpretation, the detachment and the steep faults belong to the same "rolling-hinge" extension system. An intriguing alternative is that a phase of detachment faulting, perhaps related to increased magmatic activity, was succeeded by localized amagmatic extension along steeper and more deeply penetrating faults.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)811-814
Number of pages4
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 1996

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geology


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