Dunn Robert A.

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Robert A.

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  • Article
    Three-dimensional seismic structure of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge (35°N) : evidence for focused melt supply and lower crustal dike injection
    (American Geophysical Union, 2005-09-09) Dunn, Robert A. ; Lekic, Vedran ; Detrick, Robert S. ; Toomey, Douglas R.
    We gathered seismic refraction and wide-angle reflection data from several active source experiments that occurred along the Mid-Atlantic Ridge near 35°N and constructed three-dimensional anisotropic tomographic images of the crust and upper mantle velocity structure and crustal thickness. The tomographic images reveal anomalously thick crust (8–9 km) and a low-velocity “bull's-eye”, from 4 to 10 km depth, beneath the center of the ridge segment. The velocity anomaly is indicative of high temperatures and a small amount of melt (up to 5%) and likely represents the current magma plumbing system for melts ascending from the mantle. In addition, at the segment center, seismic anisotropy in the lower crust indicates that the crust is composed of partially molten dikes that are surrounded by regions of hot rock with little or no melt fraction. Our results indicate that mantle melts are focused at mantle depths to the segment center and that melt is delivered to the crust via dikes in the lower crust. Our results also indicate that the segment ends are colder, receive a reduced magma supply, and undergo significantly greater tectonic stretching than the segment center.
  • Article
    Three-dimensional seismic structure of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge : an investigation of tectonic, magmatic, and hydrothermal processes in the Rainbow Area
    (John Wiley & Sons, 2017-12-29) Dunn, Robert A. ; Arai, Ryuta ; Eason, Deborah E. ; Canales, J. Pablo ; Sohn, Robert A.
    To test models of tectonic, magmatic, and hydrothermal processes along slow-spreading mid-ocean ridges, we analyzed seismic refraction data from the Mid-Atlantic Ridge INtegrated Experiments at Rainbow (MARINER) seismic and geophysical mapping experiment. Centered at the Rainbow area of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge (36°14'N), this study examines a section of ridge with volcanically active segments and a relatively amagmatic ridge offset that hosts the ultramafic Rainbow massif and its high-temperature hydrothermal vent field. Tomographic images of the crust and upper mantle show segment-scale variations in crustal structure, thickness, and the crust-mantle transition, which forms a vertical gradient rather than a sharp boundary. There is little definitive evidence for large regions of sustained high temperatures and melt in the lower crust or upper mantle along the ridge axes, suggesting that melts rising from the mantle intrude as small intermittent magma bodies at crustal and subcrustal levels. The images reveal large rotated crustal blocks, which extend to mantle depths in some places, corresponding to off-axis normal fault locations. Low velocities cap the Rainbow massif, suggesting an extensive near-surface alteration zone due to low-temperature fluid-rock reactions. Within the interior of the massif, seismic images suggest a mixture of peridotite and gabbroic intrusions, with little serpentinization. Here diffuse microearthquake activity indicates a brittle deformation regime supporting a broad network of cracks. Beneath the Rainbow hydrothermal vent field, fluid circulation is largely driven by the heat of small cooling melt bodies intruded into the base of the massif and channeled by the crack network and shallow faults.