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Thermal models of dyke intrusion during development of Continent-Ocean Transition

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A consensus has emerged in recent years from a variety of geoscientific disciplines that extension during continental rifting is achieved only partly by plate stretching: dyke intrusion also plays an important role. Magma intrusion can accommodate extension at lower yield stresses than are required to extend thick, strong, unmodified continental lithosphere mechanically, thereby aiding the breakup process. Dyke intrusion is also expected to thermally modify the rheology of the extending plate, but the extent of its influence and the timescales over which it operates are poorly understood.

To address this issue, a numerical solution to the heat flow equation is developed here to quantify the thermal effects of dyke intrusion on the continental crust during rifting. Finite difference models demonstrate that magmatic extension rate exerts a first order control on crustal thermal structure.Once dyke intrusion supersedes faulting and stretching as the principal extensional mechanism the crust will heat and weaken rapidly (<

This talk is part of the Cambridge Volcanology series.

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