People at Fort Hoofddijk

Marily Mensink
M. Mensink
Paleomagnetic Laboratory
Fort Hoofddijk
Department of Earth Sciences, 
Utrecht University 
Budapestlaan 17
3584 CD Utrecht 
The Netherlands 

Phone +31 30 253 5248



Research of Marily Mensink

Paleomagnetism of the South Armenian Block and its foreland
The South Armenian Block (SAB) rifted away from the African margin in early to middle Jurassic times, ~200-160 million years ago. It collided with the Eurasian margin in the late Cretaceous (~83-70 million years ago), where it is still positioned. The ages of rifting and collision are mainly based on geological evidence, and a single paleomagnetic study, which is unsatisfactory for plate reconstructions. 

The position of the SAB with respect to the African and Eurasian margins that were separated by a 3300 km wide ocean in the ~80-40 million years following rifting, is not determined at all. Paleomagnetic research, that is based on magnetic particles in rocks that align with the Earth’s dipolar magnetic field at the time of deposition, is the only way to quantitatively provide paleolatitudes, and should therefore be conducted in the region of the SAB to enable the construction of paleogeographic reconstructions of the Tethys ocean. 
The collision of the SAB with Eurasia in late Cretaceous times (~83 to 70 million years ago) occurs much earlier than the accommodation of shortening in the Kura fold-and-thrust belt that results from collision of Arabia, which is very recent (only the last 5 million years!). 
Both mechanisms however, could explain the arc-shaped geometry north of the SAB. Using paleomagnetic data, that provide not only paleolatitudes, but also rotational data, we can exactly pinpoint the timing of formation of this arc-shaped geometry, and therefore conclude what the responsible mechanism is.

publications Publications of Marily Mensink