Constructing the crust along the Galapagos Spreading Center 91.3°–95.5°W : correlation of seismic layer 2A with axial magma lens and topographic characteristics
Blacic, Tanya M.
Ito, Garrett T.
Canales, J. Pablo
Detrick, Robert S.
Sinton, John M.
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Multichannel seismic reflection data are used to infer crustal accretion processes along the intermediate spreading Galapagos Spreading Center. East of 92.5°W, we image a magma lens beneath the ridge axis that is relatively shallow (1.0–2.5 km below the seafloor) and narrow (∼0.5–1.5 km, cross-axis width). We also image a thin seismic layer 2A (0.24–0.42 km) that thickens away from the ridge axis by as much as 150%. West of 92.7°W, the magma lens is deeper (2.5–4.5 km) and wider (0.7–2.4 km), and layer 2A is thicker (0.36–0.66 km) and thickens off axis by <40%. The positive correlation between layer 2A thickness and magma lens depth supports the interpretation of layer 2A as the extrusive volcanic layer with thickness controlled by the pressure on the magma lens and its ability to push magma to the surface. Our findings also suggest that narrower magma lenses focus diking close the ridge axis such that lava flowing away from the ridge axis will blanket older flows and thicken the extrusive crust off axis. Flow of lava away from the ridge axis is probably promoted by the slope of the axial bathymetric high, which is largest east of 92.5°W. West of ∼94°W the “transitional” axial morphology lacks a prominent bathymetric high and layer 2A no longer thickens off axis. We detect no magma lens west of 94.7°W where a small axial valley appears. The above changes can be linked to the westward decrease in the magma and heat flux associated with the fading influence of the Galapagos hot spot on the Galapagos Spreading Center.
Author Posting. © American Geophysical Union, 2004. This article is posted here by permission of American Geophysical Union for personal use, not for redistribution. The definitive version was published in Journal of Geophysical Research 109 (2004): B10310, doi:10.1029/2004JB003066.
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