|Authors||A. Said, M. Smethurst, S. Clark, C. Moder and J. Skogseid|
|Title||Plate Reconstruction of the Western Mediterranean: Derived Age-Grid and Residual Topography|
|Afilliation||Scientific Computing, Scientific Computing, Scientific Computing|
|Year of Publication||2012|
The Western Mediterranean area is characterized by a collage of small tectonic plates trapped between the converging African and Eurasian plates. The rotation of these blocks was synchronous with the subduction of old oceanic crust and the opening of the present basins by back-arc extension. Multiple plate reconstruction models have been proposed for this region. Estimating the robustness and limitations of each model is important for better refining both regional and global models of plate motion. In this study, we examine four of the Western Mediterranean plate models (NGU 2010, Earthbyte 2012, Paleomap 2008, and Rosenbaum 2002), and we evaluate their consistency with geological and geophysical constraints. We focus on the timings of the onsets and endings of block motions, the relative chronology of the opening of back-arc basins, and the paleo-positions of blocks. This evaluation allows us to derive an alternative plate model that best satisfies the available geological and geophysical constraints. Based on plate flow-lines for the new model, an oceanic crust age-grid has been generated. This age-grid was used to estimate the residual topography in the Western Mediterranean.