Distinguished Research Professor Giorgio Ranalli and Professor Antonio Schettino from the University of Camerino, Italy, have published a paper in Evolving Earth titled: Ultra-slow transverse waves during continental breakup
In the paper they present a model of the continental extension- sea floor spreading transition using, for the first time, a lithosphere rheology including long-term anelasticity, combined with a non-linear viscous asthenospheric mantle. The results of the numerical model show that continental breakup does not necessaritly require the presence of pre-existing weak zones, and that ultra-slow transverse waves (wavelengths ~ thousands kms, period ~tens kyrs) are formed during the extension. These waves induce oscillating topography that could be responsible for eustatic cycles in both axial rift and off-rift lacustrine systems.
To view the full article, please click Evolving Earth
Diagram credit: G. Ranalli and A. Schettino