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Magmatism on rift flanks: Insights from ambient noise phase velocity in Afar region

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2179-2188
Number of pages10
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Issue number7
DatePublished - 16 Apr 2015


During the breakup of continents in magmatic settings, the extension of the rift valley is commonly assumed to initially occur by border faulting and progressively migrate in space and time toward the spreading axis. Magmatic processes near the rift flanks are commonly ignored. We present phase velocity maps of the crust and uppermost mantle of the conjugate margins of the southern Red Sea (Afar and Yemen) using ambient noise tomography to constrain crustal modification during breakup. Our images show that the low seismic velocities characterize not only the upper crust beneath the axial volcanic systems but also both upper and lower crust beneath the rift flanks where ongoing volcanism and hydrothermal activity occur at the surface. Magmatic modification of the crust beneath rift flanks likely occurs for a protracted period of time during the breakup process and may persist through to early seafloor spreading. Key Points Crustal and upper mantle structures are characterized in Red Sea and Afar Magmatic processes are currently modifying the crust of the Red Sea flanks Rift-flank magmatism can persist after breakup

    Research areas

  • Afar, ambient seismic noise, crustal structure, Red Sea, seismic tomography, Yemen



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