PICASSO: Program to Investigate Convective Alboran Sea System Overturn
|A map of land and seafloor MT stations deployed as part of the PICASSO and TopoEurope programs studying the tectonics of the western mediterranean region. ()|
DIAS (Jones), University of Barcelona (Ledo), CSIC Barcelona (Garcia), GEOMAR (Jegen), Rice University (Lee, Levander), The University of Oregon (Humphreys), U.C. San Diego (Seber) the University of Southern California (Becker, Platt, Miller).
Cenozoic tectonic activity in the Alboran Sea and Gibraltar arc of the western Mediterranean constitutes a small but vigorous orogeny. It encompasses the easternmost Atlantic, the Alboran Sea, the Gibraltar arc (consisting of the Betic mountains and Neogene Gaudalquivir foreland basin of southern Spain and the Rif Mountains of North Africa), and the Atlas Mountains, which taken together we term the Alboran system. The tectonics of the region are not well understood and a number of models have been suggested to explain the modern day structure. These models include 1) oceanic slab rollback at an orogenic termination, 2) mantle lithosphere convective (i.e. drip-like Rayleigh-Taylor) instability that removed the base of the lithosphere, 3) continental lithospheric delamination including parts of the crust and 4) various more traditional subduction models. WHOI are involved in a large project with US and European collaborators investigating the structure of the region. We have deployed seafloor magnetotelluric instruments in the Alboran Sea that will provide key information on the lithospheric structure in this complex region.
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