CRYSTALS "Continental Rift Dynamics Across The Scales"

Rifting der kontinentalen Kruste findet dort statt, wo die Erdplatten wie im Ostafrikanischen Grabensystem gedehnt werden. In Folge des Zerbrechen eines Kontinents bilden sich zwei passive Kontinentalränder entlang eines neuen Meeresbeckens. Wir untersuchen die Dynamik kontinentaler Rifts und passiver Kontinentalränder durch Kombination numerischer Simulationen mit geophysikalischen und geologischen Beobachtungen. Zu diesem Zweck modellieren wir Prozesse, die von Mantelkonvektion und Mantelplumes über Lithosphärendeformation an Plattengrenzen bis hin zur Spannungslokalisierung auf der cm-Skala reichen.

Laufzeit: 2016 - 2021

Zuwendungsgeber: Helmholtz-Gemeinschaft

Arbeitsgruppenleiter: Dr. Sascha Brune 

Wissenschaftlerin: Anne Glerum 

Doktorand: Maximilian Döhmann 

August 2017 - Paper published:  Brune, S., Corti, G., and Ranalli, G. Controls of inherited lithospheric heterogeneity on rift linkage: Numerical and analogue models of interaction between the Kenyan and Ethiopian rifts across the Turkana depression: Tectonics, p. 2017TC004739, doi: 10.1002/2017TC004739.

March 2017 - Discussion paper published: Rubey, M., Brune, S., Heine, C., Davies, D.R., Williams, S.E., Müller, R.D.: Global patterns of Earth's dynamic topography since the Jurassic. Solid Earth Discussions, doi: 10.5194/se-2017-26

March 2017 - Successful HPC Proposal: Structures and Dynamics of Continental Rift Systems. PIs: Sascha Brune, Stephan Sobolev. Grant Volume: 2,000,000 CPU hours on HLRN cluster (equivalent to € 52,000).

January 2017 - Paper published: Yuan, X., Heit, B., Brune, S., Steinberger, B., Geissler W.H., Jokat, W., Weber, M., Seismic structure of the lithosphere beneath NW Namibia: Impact of the Tristan da Cunha mantle plume. Geochemistry Geophysics Geosystems, doi: 10.1002/2016GC006645

December 2016 - New project funded: Linking continental breakup dynamics to climate changes. By means of a joint DAAD-UA travel grant this study will correlate rift length with paleo-atmospheric CO2 content.
Australian Collaborators: Simon Williams and Dietmar Müller (EarthByte Group, Sydney)

October 2016 - Book Chapter published: Brune, S.: Rifts and rifted margins: A review of geodynamic processes and natural hazards. Invited Review Paper in AGU Geophysical Monograph, 219 “Plate Boundaries and Natural Hazards”, Duarte and Schellart (Eds.), AGU/Wiley Publishing.

October 2016 - Paper published: Brune, S., Heine, C., Clift, P.D., and Pérez-Gussinyé, M., 2016, Rifted margin architecture and crustal rheology: Reviewing Iberia-Newfoundland, central South Atlantic, and South China sea: Marine and Petroleum Geology, doi: 10.1016/j.marpetgeo.2016.10.018

August 2016 - Paper published: Díaz-Azpiroz, M., Brune, S., Leever, K. A., Fernández, C., Czeck, D. M., 2016, Tectonics of oblique plate boundary systems, Tectonophysics, doi: 10.1016/j.tecto.2016.07.028

August 2016 - Paper published: Cyprych, D., Brune, S., Piazolo, S., Quinteros, J.: Strain localization in polycrystalline material with second phase particles: Numerical modeling with application to ice mixtures:Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems, doi: 10.1002/2016GC006471

July 2016: Paper published. Brune, S., Williams, S.E., Butterworth, N.P., Müller, R.D.: Abrupt plate accelerations shape rifted continental margins: Nature, 536 (7615), 201–204, doi: 10.1038/nature18319

Forschung

Rifts provide a unique window into the geodynamic system of our planet and the processes that shape the surface of the Earth. This project aims at a thorough understanding of continental rift dynamics and rifted margin formation by means of a comprehensive multi-scale numerical modelling design. 

CRYSTALS is a Helmholtz Young Investigators Group funded for 5 years from 2016 to 2021 bridging GFZ's Section 2.5 Geodynamic Modeling and the Institute of Earth and Environmental Science of the University of Potsdam.

Recent animations:

The Turkana depression in the East African Rift connects the Main Ethiopian Rift to the north with the Kenya rift in the south. The numerical model elucidates the along-axis transition from narrow rifting in Ethiopia and Kenya to a distributed deformation within the Turkana depression.

Cite as: 

Brune, S., Corti, G., and Ranalli, G. Controls of inherited lithospheric heterogeneity on rift linkage: Numerical and analogue models of interaction between the Kenyan and Ethiopian rifts across the Turkana depression: Tectonics, p. 2017TC004739, doi: 10.1002/2017TC004739.  

Downloads and Resources:

Link to Paper | Link to Supplement | More animations


Rift velocity evolution during separation of South America from Africa. The abrupt speed-up of South America is due to a cross-scale effect: the non-linear decay of rift strength. The abrupt rift weakening results from non-Newtonian rheology and brittle failure of the materials that constitute Earth's lithosphere. 

Cite as:

Brune, S., Williams, S.E., Butterworth, N.P., Müller, R.D.: Abrupt plate accelerations shape rifted continental margins: Nature, 536 (7615), 201–204, doi:10.1038/nature18319.

Download and Resources:

Link to Paper | Link to Supplementary Information | Link to Webinterface of the Rift Velocity Database

Related Media Pieces:

EARTH Magazine - Why tectonic plates lurch forward when they break

Spektrum der Wissenschaft - Kontinente zerreißen wie Brotteig  

New York Times - Continents Split Up at the Same Speed Finger Nails Grow. And That’s Fast.

Der Standard - Wie Kontinente auseinanderbrechen


Numerical model of continental rifting and breakup between Brazil and Angola. Weak crust generates a wide rift before rift migration leads to the formation of a very asymmetric margin pair.

Cite as:

Brune, S., Heine, C., Clift, P.D., and Pérez-Gussinyé, M., 2017, Rifted margin architecture and crustal rheology: Reviewing Iberia-Newfoundland, central South Atlantic, and South China sea: Marine and Petroleum Geology, 79, 257–281, doi: 10.1016/j.marpetgeo.2016.10.018. 

Downloads and Resources:

Link to Paper | More animations |  Model animations (mp4): Iberia-Newfoundland, Brazil-Angola, Brazil-Angola (Alternative Scenario), South China Sea | Model animations (pdf): Iberia-NewfoundlandBrazil-AngolaBrazil-Angola (Alternative Scenario)South China Sea


The video shows a numerical experiment where a roughly square-centimetre-sized sample of polymineralic material is compressed. Numerical experiments like this help to understand the transient localisation dynamics within polymineralic materials and to benchmark numerical parameters for further use in large-scale geodynamic modelling.

Cite as:

Cyprych, D., Brune, S., Piazolo, S., Quinteros, J.: Strain localization in polycrystalline material with second phase particles: Numerical modeling with application to ice mixtures: Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems, doi:10.1002/2016GC006471.

Downloads and Resources:

Link to Paper | Link to Supplementary Information | Model animations (mp4): StrainStrain RateViscosity | Model animations (youtube): Strain, Strain Rate, Viscosity

Sascha Brune
Nachwuchsgruppenleiter
Dr. Sascha Brune
Geodynamische Modellierung
Heinrich-Mann-Allee 18/19
Gebäude HMA 18/19, Raum 502
14473 Potsdam
+49 331 288-1928
Zum Profil