MARGINS Rupturing of Continental Lithosphere

What is Rupturing Continental Lithosphere?

Although much progress has been made over the last few years in understanding the kinematics of continental lithosphere deformation, it is agreed that the physics by which the continental lithosphere deforms is not well understood, nor is the manner in which strain is partitioned, either spatially or temporally, and the timing, composition, spatial distribution and melting depth of rift-related magmas. The focused study of these processes form the foundation of the Rupturing Continental Lithosphere (RCL) initiative.

The five overarching themes to be studied comprise:

  1. How does the strength of the lithosphere evolve during rupturing?
  2. How is strain partitioned during lithospheric rupturing?
  3. What is the role of magmatism (and volatiles) during extension and in the transition to sea-floor spreading and what is the relationship between magma petrogenesis and the deformation magnitude and history?
  4. What is the stratigraphic response to lithospheric rupturing?
  5. How are fluid fluxes modified or controlled by lithospheric rupturing?

Recent News

RCL Nuggets from 2009 Review Documents: Nuggets are available online!

RCL Paper in Nature: "Variation in styles of rifting in the Gulf of California", Nature 448, 466-469 (26 July 2007). New publication presenting a major result from the MARGINS-funded PESCADOR Gulf of California cruises.

RCL web pages:

Focus Areas: Gulf of California - Salton Trough
  Gulf of California Focus Area Map
  Northern Red Sea/Gulf of Suez (ancillary)
  Red Sea Ancillary Focus Area Map
Upcoming Meetings: Rupturing Continental Lithosphere: Synthesis and New Perspectives. Charleston, South Carolina, April 30 - May 2, 2009.
Meetings: Integrated Collaborations in Cascadia and the Walker Lane/Salton Trough. Monterey, California, March 27,2007
Meeting pages contain abstracts, bibliographies, presentations, lecture notes and much more information. RCL-Cortez Workshop: "Lithospheric Rupture in the Gulf of California - Salton Trough Region," Ensenada (Mexico), January 9-13, 2006
InterMARGINS Workshop: "Modeling the Extensional Deformation of the Lithosphere" (IMEDL 2004), Pontresina, Switzerland
MARGINS Red Sea workshop 2001, Sharm-el-Sheik
MARGINS Gulf of California workshop 2000, Puerto Vallarta
  Rheology & deformation TEI 2000, lecture notes
  Snowbird RCL workshop 2000 (announcement)
Documents: Rupturing Continental Lithosphere Science Plan
  MARGINS Data Policy
  Comments from Program Director, Bilal Haq, on the Red Sea Ancillary Site
  Legal info for research cruises in Mexican waters
  NSF-OCE fleet security guidelines, implications for MARGINS research in the Red Sea
  Proposal: The NARS-Baja project
  Proposal: Gulf of California rifting
  NSF-funded MARGINS RCL awards
Graphics: MARGINS Presentation materials
Links: Space Geodetic Velocity Field for Western North America

Please feel free to suggest additions to these pages!
E-mail suggestions to the MARGINS Office.


MARGINS is an NSF funded program

The MARGINS Office is Hosted by Columbia University

Last updated Wednesday, February 4, 2009