Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Formation of the Gulf of Corinth rift, Greece

Date:
December 23, 2009
Source:
National Oceanography Centre, Southampton (UK)
Summary:
A study of the structure and evolution of the Gulf of Corinth rift in central Greece will increase scientific understanding of rifted margin development and the tectonic mechanisms underlying seafloor spreading and deformation of the Earth's crust.

This is the view to the west along the Gulf of Corinth active rift showing the bathymetry of the seafloor within the active offshore rift and a cross section beneath the seafloor interpreted from a seismic reflection profile. Red dashed lines on the seafloor and on the coast to the south are the major normal faults which control the region's morphology and the opening of the rift. Colored layers within the cross section represent layers of sediment deposited and deformed as the rift subsides.
Credit: NOCS

A study of the structure and evolution of the Gulf of Corinth rift in central Greece will increase scientific understanding of rifted margin development and the tectonic mechanisms underlying seafloor spreading and deformation of the Earth's crust.

Related Articles


"The Gulf of Corinth rift is an ideal natural laboratory for studying early rift history," said Dr Lisa McNeill of the University of Southampton's School of Ocean and Earth Science (SOES) at the National Oceanography Centre, Southampton (NOCS): "The rift is less than five million years old and is relatively easy to interpret as its structure has not been significantly complicated by geological events over a long period of time. The rifting process is also the source of hazardous earthquakes in the region."

Using available marine and terrestrial data, including high-resolution seismic reflection profiles from a research cruise aboard the MV Vasilios in 2003, the researchers analysed fault evolution across the entire rift system, producing a fault framework for the rift and revealing patterns of basin subsidence through rift history. They also estimated when faults became active and the rates at which they slip.

"Our analysis shows how the system of faults associated with the Corinth rift has evolved over time, which can now be compared with other rifts worldwide and with computer models of rift development," said Dr Rebecca Bell, former SOES PhD student at the National Oceanography Centre, now working at GNS Science, New Zealand and lead author of the research.

The Corinth rift is about 100 kilometres long and 30 kilometers wide. It is under high strain, its north and south sides separating due to tectonic forces by up to ~15 milimetres per year.

The researchers find that the rift has undergone major changes in fault activity and the shape of the rift basin during its short history. The currently active Gulf of Corinth Basin is thought to have formed only 1-2 million years ago.

Before around 400,000 years ago, two separate areas of sediment deposition or basins (20-50 kilometres long) were created, controlled by north- and south-dipping faults. Since this time, these basins have coalesced into one (80 kilometres long) controlled by multiple connected faults.

The researchers conclude that isolated but nearby faults can persist for around a million years and form major basins before becoming linked deep below the Earth's surface: "Basin subsidence and the eventual transition to seafloor spreading are controlled by the development and interaction of fault systems established in the early stages of continental rifting."

The researchers are Rebecca Bell, Lisa McNeill, Jon Bull and Tim Henstock (SOES/NOCS), Richard Collier (University of Leeds) and Mike Leeder (University of East Anglia), with several collaborators from Greece.

The work was funded by the United Kingdom's Natural Environment Research Council, the University of Southampton, and the Royal Society under the permission of the Greek authorities.



Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by National Oceanography Centre, Southampton (UK). Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Bell et al. Fault architecture, basin structure and evolution of the Gulf of Corinth Rift, central Greece. Basin Research, 2009; 21 (6): 824 DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2117.2009.00401.x

Cite This Page:

National Oceanography Centre, Southampton (UK). "Formation of the Gulf of Corinth rift, Greece." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 23 December 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/12/091222105215.htm>.
National Oceanography Centre, Southampton (UK). (2009, December 23). Formation of the Gulf of Corinth rift, Greece. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 19, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/12/091222105215.htm
National Oceanography Centre, Southampton (UK). "Formation of the Gulf of Corinth rift, Greece." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/12/091222105215.htm (accessed April 19, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Earth & Climate News

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Nervous Return to Everest a Year After Deadly Avalanche

Nervous Return to Everest a Year After Deadly Avalanche

AFP (Apr. 18, 2015) In the Himalayan town of Lukla, excitement mingles with fear as mountaineers make their way up to Everest a year after an avalanche killed 16 guides and triggered an unprecedented shut-down of the world&apos;s highest peak. Duration: 00:37 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
L.A. Water Cops Remind Residents of Water Conservation

L.A. Water Cops Remind Residents of Water Conservation

Reuters - US Online Video (Apr. 18, 2015) "Water cops" in Los Angeles remind the public about water conservation methods amid California&apos;s prolonged drought. Julie Noce reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Planet Defence Conference Tackles Asteroid Threat

Planet Defence Conference Tackles Asteroid Threat

AFP (Apr. 17, 2015) Scientists gathered at a European Space Agency (ESA) facility outside Rome this week for the Planetary Defence Conference 2015 to discuss how to tackle the potential threat from asteroids hitting Earth. Duration: 00:54 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Gulf Scarred, Resilient 5 Years After BP Spill

Gulf Scarred, Resilient 5 Years After BP Spill

AP (Apr. 17, 2015) Five years after the Deepwater Horizon spill in the Gulf of Mexico, splotches of oil still dot the seafloor and wads of tarry petroleum-smelling material hide in pockets in the marshes of Barataria Bay. (April 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins