Chapter 3

On extensional basins 1978


This paper applies the thermal modelling that had been so successful at mid-ocean ridges to sedimentary basins, such as the North Sea. McKenzie modelled a two-stage history, based on his work in the Aegean. Horizontal stretching of the lithosphere first produces a faulted basin, with thinning of the lithosphere; hotter material below moves upwards in response. Then the lower lithosphere cools and subsidence continues, more slowly. As at mid ocean ridges, the thermal structure is a consequence, not a cause. It’s essentially the same problem with different boundary conditions.

READ THE PAPER — McKenzie, D. 1978. Some remarks on the development of sedimentary basins. Earth planetary Science Letters. 40, 25-32.


Notes from working file: “Some remarks on the development of sedimentary basins” (1978) & “Sedimentary basin formation with finite extension rates” (1980).