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Response of the Rhône deltaic margin to loading and subsidence during the last climatic cycle

Abstract : Passive continental margin subsidence is initiated by the synrift mechanical stretching of the lithospheric upper brittle layer and continues during the postrift phase; the thermal cooling and contraction of the upwelled asthenosphere forces the margin to subside in addition to the overloads from sea water and sediments. Therefore, the total subsidence in stretched basins includes fault-controlled initial sinking, thermal subsidence and flexural isostatic compensations. Decoupling and estimating the different components of this subsidence from stratigraphic analysis and restricted geophysical and sedimentological databases remains problematic. In particular, backstripping the sediment layers requires a well-constrained geological framework. A method is proposed here to investigate the subsidence history of a margin based on forward stratigraphic modelling. Using the Sedflux model, several experiments are done using generally agreed upon assumptions on the parameters describing lithospheric rheology and isostatic behaviour of a margin. The stratigraphic modelling of the Rhône deltaic margin during the last climatic cycle (125 kyr) provides an assessment of these parameter estimates and their influence on geohistory (tectonic/thermal subsidence and sediment loading). The model results confirm the important impact of water loading on vertical deflection along the platform between glacial low sea-level and interglacial high sea-level. Based on Gulf of Lions (NW Mediterranean) observations, a conceptual method that uses the stratigraphic simulations is produced in order to evaluate the different components of the total subsidence of a margin, and, in particular, the relative impact of tectonic subsidence and sediment load.
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Submitted on : Friday, December 12, 2008 - 11:18:23 AM
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Gwenael Jouet, Eric W.H. Hutton, James P.M. Syvitskic, Serge S. Berné. Response of the Rhône deltaic margin to loading and subsidence during the last climatic cycle. Computers & Geosciences, Elsevier, 2008, 34 (10), pp.1338-1357. ⟨10.1016/j.cageo.2008.02.003⟩. ⟨insu-00346729⟩



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