AGU Chapman Conference on Detachments in Oceanic Lithosphere

May 8-15, 2010 – Agros, Cyprus
Convener: Javier Escartin, Juan Pablo Canales

Courtesy UAF-IARC (N. Shakhova & I. Semiletov)


Oceanic core complexes (OCCs) are deep sections of the oceanic lithosphere exhumed to the seafloor by long-lived detachment faults formed along the flanks of ultra-slow to intermediate-spreading mid-ocean ridges. The Chapman Conference on Detachments in Oceanic Lithosphere was organized to advance understanding of the fundamental processes that control oceanic detachment faulting and OCC formation and evolution, and associated geological, chemical, and biological phenomena. These structures have attracted interest because they provide windows into the oceanic lithosphere, are an important component of lithospheric accretion along ridges, host a large variety of high- and low-temperature hydrothermal fields and associated ecosystems, represent an extreme case of strain localization and tectonic deformation, and may provide insights into the origin and nature of continental metamorphic core complexes and detachment faulting in extensional continental margins. The conference participants delivered a community statement emphasizing the significance of the oceanic detachment faulting as a distinct mode of seafloor spreading, a consensus on the definition of oceanic detachment fault and oceanic core complex, and a set of recommendations to advance research in this topic and strengthen the links between the scientific community and appropriate funding agencies.


EOS Article
Nature Geoscience Article

Final Workshop Report


Juan Pablo Canales, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
Javier Escartín, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS)