Geophysical Journal | 2011 volume 33 4

Application of density modeling for solving the problem on the nature of the Bransfield Strait

© Kozlenko Yu.V., Kozlenko M.V.

In order to study deep structure of north-western borderland of the Antarctic Peninsula, taking into account two existing contradictory notions as to the reasons of appearance of rifto-genesis in the Bransfield Strait, according to seismic data, multi-variant two-dimensional density simulation has been conducted along the profile involving the structures from the oceanic block of the Drake Strait up to the continent. The results did not confirm the spreading-subduction nature of the West Antarctica. Therefore, the continental margin of the Antarctic Peninsula belongs the most probably to the passive type, and the Bransfield Strait is not a back from arch basin. It has been shown that typically oceanic crust of the Drake Strait is interchanged by two-layered sub-continental crust of the South Shetland islands. In the Bransfield Strait the rootage of the mantle matter into lower and medium part of the basement has been confirmed that together with subsidence of the bottom is typical for rift structures. Suggestion has been made as to existence of one more rifting center in the coastal part of the Bransfield platform. The depth of the mantle surface within the Antarctic Peninsula obtained according to calculations, testifies its continental structure.

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