Detachment tectonics during Atlantic rifting: analysis and interpretation of the S reflection, the west Galicia margin

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Beneath the tilted fault blocks of the western Galicia rifted margin an unusually bright reflection, the S reflection, is observed. The waveform, polarity and amplitude of S indicate that it is a reflection from a seismic interface across which the acoustic impedance increases sharply. This result is consistent with its interpretation as a detachment fault juxtaposing a low velocity and density upper plate and a high velocity and density lower plate. Pre-stack depth migration is applied to determine the true geometry of S, and its relationships with the overlying faults. It is found that S passes continuously beneath the upper crustal faults, which detach onto S. However, S does appear to be truncated westwards by east-dipping reflections associated with the peridotites exposed at the seafloor. These reflections are interpreted as the continuation of the top-to-the-east extensional shear zone sampled within the peridotite, and it is suggested that S is either antithetic to a master mantle detachment, or that S is cut by a later mantle shear zone. -from Authors


Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe tectonics, sedimentation and palaeoceanography of the North Atlantic region
EditorsR.A. Scrutton
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 1995

Publication series

NameSpecial Publications
PublisherGeological Society of London