Lithospheric breakup in three dimensions: necking of a work- hardening plastic plate

A. Agnon, A. Eidelman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations

Abstract

Lithospheric breakup is, in general, oblique to the principal strain axes, with shortening in one horizontal axis (eh<0). Local necking of the plate, including the mantle part of the lithosphere, is necessary for the creation of a divergent plate boundary. The necking develops as a mechanical instability that decreases the resistance of the plate to extension despite the intrinsic hardening of the material. We model the flow that precedes breakup stressing two aspects that have been overlooked before: (1) three-dimensional flow, and (2) strain dependent strength of the lithosphere. The critical strain for local necking in the model appears to be independent of the intrinsic strength. Therefore various rheological layers may neck concomitantly to form a rift. -from Authors

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)20,189-20,194
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research
Volume96
Issue numberB12
DOIs
StatePublished - 1991

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