BOLIVAR: Crust-Mantle Interactions During Continental Growth and High-pressure Rock Exhumation at an Oblique Arc-Continent collision Zone: SE Caribbean Margin: NSF Continental Dynamics EAR 0308187 & EAR 0607801
BOLIVAR (Broadband Onshore-offshore Lithospheric Investigation of Venezuela and the Antilles arc Region) was a project that included structural geology, geochemistry, and combined active and passive seismology experiments to understand the evolution of the southeast Caribbean plate boundary (Figure 1). Rice was the lead institution, with UTIG (Paul Mann, Gail Christeson), Indiana University (Gary Pavlis), Scripps (Frank Vernon), and the University of Georgia (Jim Wright) as US partners, and FUNVISIS (Michael Schmitz, Franck Audemard, Herbert Rendon), Simon Bolivar University and the Central University of Venezuela as Venezuelan partners. The Venezuelan research was funded by CONICIT, the Venezuelan science foundation, and PDVSA, the Venezuelan national oil company. Over 25 Venezuelan undergraduate theses were completed in support of this project.
- Faculty: Alan Levander, Hans Ave Lallemant, Colin Zelt, Dale Sawyer
- Post-doc: Beatrice Magnani
- Graduate Students: Maximiliano Bezada, Stoney Clark, Amanda Beardsley, Maria Guedez, Yemi Arogunmati
As the Atlantic plate subducts beneath the Caribbean, the top of the plate tears along the northern continental margin of South America forming a STEP fault (the El Pilar-San Sebastian system), and viscously removes the base of the adjacent continent thinning the edge of the continent as the subduction zone traverses the continental margin (Figure 2).
Publications with Rice authors
- Levander, A., Schmitz, M., Avé Lallemant, H.G., Zelt, C.A., Sawyer, D.S., Magnani, M.B., Mann, P., Christeson, G., Wright, J., Pavlis, G. and Pindell, J., 2006. Evolution of the southern Caribbean plate boundary. Eos, 87(9), p.97.
- Beardsley, A.G. and Avé Lallemant, H.G., 2007. Oblique collision and accretion of the Netherlands Leeward Antilles to South America. Tectonics, 26(2).
- Niu, F., Bravo, T., Pavlis, G., Vernon, F., Rendon, H., Bezada, M. and Levander, A., 2007. Receiver function study of the crustal structure of the southeastern Caribbean plate boundary and Venezuela. Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth, 112(B11).
- Clark, S.A., Zelt, C.A., Magnani, M.B. and Levander, A., 2008. Characterizing the Caribbean–South American plate boundary at 64° W using wide‐angle seismic data. Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth, 113(B7).
- Clark, S.A., Levander, A., Magnani, M.B. and Zelt, C.A., 2008. Negligible convergence and lithospheric tearing along the Caribbean–South American plate boundary at 64 W. Tectonics, 27(6).
- Clark, S.A., Sobiesiak, M., Zelt, C.A., Magnani, M.B., Miller, M.S., Bezada, M.J. and Levander, A., 2008. Identification and tectonic implications of a tear in the South American plate at the southern end of the Lesser Antilles. Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems, 9(11).
- Schmitz, M., Avila, J., Bezada, M., Vieira, E., Yánez, M., Levander, A., Zelt, C.A., Jácome, M.I., Magnani, M.B. and BOLIVAR Active Seismic Working Group, 2008. Crustal thickness variations in Venezuela from deep seismic observations. Tectonophysics, 459(1), pp.14-26.
- Magnani, M.B., Zelt, C.A., Levander, A. and Schmitz, M., 2009. Crustal structure of the South American–Caribbean plate boundary at 67 W from controlled source seismic data. Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth, 114(B2).
- Miller, M.S., Levander, A., Niu, F. and Li, A., 2009. Upper mantle structure beneath the Caribbean‐South American plate boundary from surface wave tomography. Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth, 114(B1).
- Bezada, M.J., Levander, A. and Schmandt, B., 2010. Subduction in the southern Caribbean: Images from finite‐frequency P wave tomography. Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth, 115(B12).
- Huang, J., Vanacore, E., Niu, F. and Levander, A., 2010. Mantle transition zone beneath the Caribbean-South American plate boundary and its tectonic implications. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 289(1), pp.105-111.
- Bezada, M.J., Magnani, M.B., Zelt, C.A., Schmitz, M. and Levander, A., 2010. The Caribbean–South American plate boundary at 65 W: Results from wide‐angle seismic data. Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth, 115(B8).
- Masy, J., Niu, F., Levander, A. and Schmitz, M., 2011. Mantle flow beneath northwestern Venezuela: Seismic evidence for a deep origin of the Mérida Andes. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 305(3), pp.396-404.
- Zhai, Y. and Levander, A., 2011. Receiver function imaging in strongly laterally heterogeneous crust: Synthetic modeling of BOLIVAR data. Earthquake Science, 24(1), pp.45-54.
- Levander, A., Bezada, M.J., Niu, F., Humphreys, E.D., Palomeras, I., Thurner, S.M., Masy, J., Schmitz, M., Gallart, J., Carbonell, R. and Miller, M.S., 2014. Subduction-driven recycling of continental margin lithosphere. Nature, 515(7526), pp.253-256.
- Masy, J., Niu, F., Levander, A. and Schmitz, M., 2015. Lithospheric expression of Cenozoic subduction, mesozoic rifting and the Precambrian Shield in Venezuela. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 410, pp.12-24.