Flow of Canary mantle plume material through a subcontinental lithospheric corridor beneath Africa to the Mediterranean: Comment.
Earth and related Environmental sciences
Geodynamics and mineral resources
Geological Society of America
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The Atlas mountain range in Morocco, northwest Africa, represent an intracontinental belt with an elevation up to 4400 m, marked by the unexpected lack of a thick lithospheric root. This has been explained by the major role of thermal uplift in the Anti-, High- and Middle-Atlas, outlined by an outstanding thin linear lithosphere corridor, with the top of the asthenosphere being at a depth of ~60 km compared to ~120 km on both sides (Missenard et al., 2006). Duggen et al. (2009) proposed that the mantle plume postulated at the origin of Canary Island volcanism fl owed, and is still fl owing, beneath the Moroccan Atlas, triggering Atlas Cenozoic alkaline volcanism, and contributing to uplift and tectonic events such as the A.D. 1960 Agadir earthquake. The main arguments of Duggen et al. are (1) the similarities between their new geochemical data on basic-ultrabasic Middle Atlas lavas and those of primitive lavas from the Canary Islands, and (2) the preexisting thin lithosphere making plume fl owage easier toward the northeast. This appealing idea astutely uses the wide fl exibility of the plume model, but cannot survive if all available constraints (and not just a part of existing geophysical and geochemical data) are taken into account.
CitationBerger, J.; Liégeois, J.P.; Ennih, E.; Bonin, B. (2010). Flow of Canary mantle plume material through a subcontinental lithospheric corridor beneath Africa to the Mediterranean: Comment.. , Geology, Vol. 38, e202, Geological Society of America, DOI: doi: 10.1130/G30516C.1.