Mackie Randall L.

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Randall L.

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  • Preprint
    Geophysical evidence from the MELT area for compositional controls on oceanic plates
    ( 2005-06-29) Evans, Rob L. ; Hirth, Greg ; Baba, Kiyoshi ; Forsyth, Donald W. ; Chave, Alan D. ; Mackie, Randall L.
    Magnetotelluric (MT) and seismic data, collected during the MELT experiment at the Southern East Pacific Rise (SEPR) constrain the distribution of melt beneath this mid-ocean-ridge spreading center and also the evolution of the oceanic lithosphere during its early cooling history. In this paper, we focus on structure imaged at distances ~100 to 350 km east of the ridge crest, corresponding to seafloor ages of ~1.3 to 4.5 Ma, where the seismic and electrical conductivity structure is nearly constant, independent of age. Beginning at a depth of about 60 km, there is a large increase in electrical conductivity and a change from isotropic to transversely anisotropic electrical structure with higher conductivity in the direction of fast propagation for seismic waves. Because conductive cooling models predict structure that increases in depth with age, extending to about 30 km at 4.5 Ma, we infer that the structure of young oceanic plates is instead controlled by a decrease in water content above 60 km induced by the melting process beneath the spreading center.
  • Article
    Electrical structure beneath the northern MELT line on the East Pacific Rise at 15°45′S
    (American Geophysical Union, 2006-11-16) Baba, Kiyoshi ; Tarits, Pascal ; Chave, Alan D. ; Evans, Rob L. ; Hirth, Greg ; Mackie, Randall L.
    The electrical structure of the upper mantle beneath the East Pacific Rise (EPR) at 15°45′S is imaged by inverting seafloor magnetotelluric data obtained during the Mantle ELectromagnetic and Tomography (MELT) experiment. The electrical conductivity model shows no evidence for a conductive region immediately beneath the ridge, in contrast to the model previously obtained beneath the EPR at 17°S. This observation can be explained by differences in current melt production along the ridge, consistent with other observations. The mantle to the east of the ridge at 60 –100 km depth is anisotropic, with higher conductivity in the spreading direction compared to the along-strike direction, similar to the 17°S region. The high conductivity in the spreading direction can be explained by a hydrated mantle with strain-induced lattice preferred orientation of olivine or by partial melt preferentially connected in the spreading direction.
  • Article
    Mantle dynamics beneath the East Pacific Rise at 17°S : insights from the Mantle Electromagnetic and Tomography (MELT) experiment
    (American Geophysical Union, 2006-02-17) Baba, Kiyoshi ; Chave, Alan D. ; Evans, Rob L. ; Hirth, Greg ; Mackie, Randall L.
    The electromagnetic data from the Mantle Electromagnetic and Tomography (MELT) experiment are inverted for a two-dimensional transversely anisotropic conductivity structure that incorporates a correction for three-dimensional topographic effects on the magnetotelluric responses. The model space allows for different conductivity values in the along-strike, cross-strike, and vertical directions, along with imposed constraints of model smoothness and closeness among the three directions. Anisotropic models provide a slightly better fit to the data for a given level of model smoothness and are more consistent with other geophysical and laboratory data. The preferred anisotropic model displays a resistive uppermost 60-km-thick mantle independent of plate age, except in the vicinity of the ridge crest. In most inversions, a vertically aligned sheet-like conductor at the ridge crest is especially prominent in the vertical conductivity. Its presence suggests that the melt is more highly concentrated and connected in the vertical direction immediately beneath the rise axis. The melt zone is at least 100 km wide and is asymmetric, having a greater extent to the west. Off-axis, and to the east of the ridge, the mantle is more conductive in the direction of plate spreading at depths greater than 60 km. The flat resistive-conductive boundary at 60 km agrees well with the inferred depth of the dry solidus of peridotite, and the deeper conductive region is consistent with the preferred orientation of olivine inferred from seismic observations. This suggests that the uppermost 60 km represents the region of mantle that has undergone melting at the ridge and has been depleted of water (dissolved hydrogen). By contrast, the underlying mantle has retained a significant amount of water.