Morphology and segmentation of the western Galápagos Spreading Center, 90.5°–98°W : plume-ridge interaction at an intermediate spreading ridge
Sinton, John M.
Detrick, Robert S.
Canales, J. Pablo
Ito, Garrett T.
Behn, Mark D.
MetadataShow full item record
Complete multibeam bathymetric coverage of the western Galápagos Spreading Center (GSC) between 90.5°W and 98°W reveals the fine-scale morphology, segmentation and influence of the Galápagos hot spot on this intermediate spreading ridge. The western GSC comprises three morphologically defined provinces: A Western Province, located farthest from the Galápagos hot spot west of 95°30′W, is characterized by an axial deep, rift valley morphology with individual, overlapping, E-W striking segments separated by non-transform offsets; A Middle Province, between the propagating rift tips at 93°15′W and 95°30′W, with transitional axial morphology strikes ∼276°; An Eastern Province, closest to the Galápagos hot spot between the ∼90°50′W Galápagos Transform and 93°15′W, with an axial high morphology generally less than 1800 m deep, strikes ∼280°. At a finer scale, the axial region consists of 32 individual segments defined on the basis of smaller, mainly <2 km, offsets. These offsets mainly step left in the Western and Middle Provinces, and right in the Eastern Province. Glass compositions indicate that the GSC is segmented magmatically into 8 broad regions, with Mg # generally decreasing to the west within each region. Striking differences in bathymetric and lava fractionation patterns between the propagating rifts with tips at 93°15′W and 95°30′W reflect lower overall magma supply and larger offset distance at the latter. The structure of the Eastern Province is complicated by the intersection of a series of volcanic lineaments that appear to radiate away from a point located on the northern edge of the Galápagos platform, close to the southern limit of the Galápagos Fracture Zone. Where these lineaments intersect the GSC, the ridge axis is displaced to the south through a series of overlapping spreading centers (OSCs); abandoned OSC limbs lie even farther south. We propose that southward displacement of the axis is promoted during intermittent times of increased plume activity, when lithospheric zones of weakness become volcanically active. Following cessation of the increased plume activity, the axis straightens by decapitating southernmost OSC limbs during short-lived propagation events. This process contributes to the number of right stepping offsets in the Eastern Province.
Author Posting. © American Geophysical Union 2003. This article is posted here by permission of American Geophysical Union for personal use, not for redistribution. The definitive version was published in Geochemistry Geophysics Geosystems 4 (2003): 8515, doi:10.1029/2003GC000609.
Suggested CitationGeochemistry Geophysics Geosystems 4 (2003): 8515
Showing items related by title, author, creator and subject.
Analysis and modeling of hydrothermal plume data acquired from the 85°E segment of the Gakkel Ridge Stranne, Christian; Sohn, Robert A.; Liljebladh, Bengt; Nakamura, Ko-ichi (American Geophysical Union, 2010-06-30)We use data from a CTD plume-mapping campaign conducted during the Arctic Gakkel Vents (AGAVE) expedition in 2007 to constrain the nature of hydrothermal processes on the Gakkel Ridge at 85°E. Thermal and redox potential ...
Crustal structure of the Trans-Atlantic Geotraverse (TAG) segment (Mid-Atlantic Ridge, 26°10′N) : implications for the nature of hydrothermal circulation and detachment faulting at slow spreading ridges Canales, J. Pablo; Sohn, Robert A.; deMartin, Brian J. (American Geophysical Union, 2007-08-09)New seismic refraction data reveal that hydrothermal circulation at the Trans-Atlantic Geotraverse (TAG) hydrothermal field on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge at 26°10′N is not driven by energy extracted from shallow or mid-crustal ...
Plutonic foundation of a slow-spreading ridge segment : oceanic core complex at Kane Megamullion, 23°30′N, 45°20′W Dick, Henry J. B.; Tivey, Maurice A.; Tucholke, Brian E. (American Geophysical Union, 2008-05-15)We mapped the Kane megamullion, an oceanic core complex on the west flank of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge exposing the plutonic foundation of a ∼50 km long, second-order ridge segment. The complex was exhumed by long-lived slip ...