Dike-induced contraction along oceanic and continental divergent plate boundaries

D. Trippanera, V. Acocella, Joel Ruch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


The axis of divergent plate boundaries shows extension fractures and normal faults at the surface. Here we present evidence of contraction along the axis of the oceanic ridge of Iceland and the continental Main Ethiopian Rift. Contraction is found at the base of the tilted hanging wall of dilational normal faults, balancing part of their extension. Our experiments suggest that these structures result from dike emplacement. Multiple dike injection induces subsidence above and uplift to the sides of the dikes; the transition in between is accommodated by reverse faults and subsequent peripheral inward dipping normal faults. Our results suggest that contraction is a direct product of magma emplacement along divergent plate boundaries, at various scales, marking a precise evolutionary stage and initiating part of the extensional structures (extension fractures and normal faults). Key Points Contraction along divergent plate boundaries results from dike emplacementContraction generates extensional structures along divergent plate boundariesSurface deformation along divergent plate boundaries may be magma induced
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)7098-7104
Number of pages7
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Issue number20
StatePublished - Oct 24 2014

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2020-10-01

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • General Earth and Planetary Sciences


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