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A broken plate beneath the North Baikal rift zone revealed by gravity modelling

Abstract : We modelled a 1200 km long gravimetric profile in the North Baikal rift to assess the mechanical behaviour of the lithosphere, using a numerical model that accounts for realistic brittle-elasto-ductile rheology. We use published seismicity and re-fraction data, a new 5'x7.5' free-air/Bouguer gravity and topography data set, and a detailed map of faults obtained from high resolution SPOT imagery. Analysis of the gravity field over the North Baikal rift zone indicates significant asymmetry of the mechanical processes governing the deformation of the diverging sides of the rift. These anomalies cmmot be explained by a conventional continuous plate undergoing extension beneath the rift zone, whereas a strong mechanical discontinuity (wedge shaped detachment zone beneath the rift axis) is able to reproduce observations. Such a discontinuous model provides a good fit to the gravity and crustal thickness data and explains the deep seismicity reported there.
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E.B. Burov, Houdry F., M Diament, Jacques Déverchère. A broken plate beneath the North Baikal rift zone revealed by gravity modelling. Geophysical Research Letters, American Geophysical Union, 1994, 21 (2), pp.129-132. ⟨10.1029/93GL03078⟩. ⟨insu-01354155⟩

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