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Role of sedimentation in continental rifting from comparing two narrow rift valleys the Salton Trough and Death Valley-California

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DOI: 10.4236/ns.2011.311119    4,112 Downloads   8,281 Views  


To unravel the forces and better understand the processes that drive continental rifting, and to understand the role of sedimentation in promoting the rifting process, we compare; the different geological features of two narrow rifts, the Salton Trough and Death Valley, California. According to our models, the Moho is 22 km deep to the southwest of the Salton Sea on US-Mexico border and it deepens to 30 km in the region west of the Salton Trough. In Death Valley, the Moho is 24 km deep in the central part of the basin and it deepens to 32 km outside of the basin. The dome shaped Moho in both rifts is suggested to be primarily the product of magmatic activity in the lower crust and upper mantle. Death Valley is narrow rift in the initial stage of rifting with several sedimentary basins 2 - 4 km deep. In Death Valley magmatic (thermal) forces appears to drive the rifting process. The Salton Trough is wider than Death Valley and is moving toward sea floor spreading. The depth of the sedimentary basins ranges from 8 - 10 km and a combination of thermal and sedimentation appears to drive rifting processes in the Salton Trough.

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Doser, D. , Hussein, M. , Serpa, L. and Velasco, A. (2011) Role of sedimentation in continental rifting from comparing two narrow rift valleys the Salton Trough and Death Valley-California. Natural Science, 3, 927-935. doi: 10.4236/ns.2011.311119.


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