Limited and localized magmatism in the Central Atlantic Magmatic Province

R. E. Marzen, D. J. Shillington, D. Lizarralde, J. H. Knapp, D. M. Heffner, J. K. Davis, S. H. Harder

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


The Central Atlantic Magmatic Province (CAMP) is the most aerially extensive magmatic event in Earth’s history, but many questions remain about its origin, volume, and distribution. Despite many observations of CAMP magmatism near Earth’s surface, few constraints exist on CAMP intrusions at depth. Here we present detailed constraints on crustal and upper mantle structure from wide-angle seismic data across the Triassic South Georgia Rift that formed shortly before CAMP. Lower crustal magmatism is concentrated where synrift sedimentary fill is thickest and the crust is thinnest, suggesting that lithospheric thinning influenced the locus and volume of magmatism. The limited distribution of lower crustal intrusions implies modest total CAMP volumes of 85,000 to 169,000 km3 beneath the South Georgia Rift, consistent with moderately elevated mantle potential temperatures (<1500 °C). These results suggest that CAMP magmatism in the South Georgia Rift is caused by syn-rift decompression melting of a warm, enriched mantle.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number3397
JournalNature Communications
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 1 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Physics and Astronomy


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