Variable crustal structure along the Juan de Fuca Ridge : influence of on-axis hot spots and absolute plate motions
Carbotte, Suzanne M.
Nedimovic, Mladen R.
Canales, J. Pablo
Kent, Graham M.
Harding, Alistair J.
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Multichannel seismic and bathymetric data from the Juan de Fuca Ridge (JDFR) provide constraints on axial and ridge flank structure for the past 4–8 Ma within three spreading corridors crossing Cleft, Northern Symmetric, and Endeavour segments. Along-axis data reveal south-to-north gradients in seafloor relief and presence and depth of the crustal magma lens, which indicate a warmer axial regime to the south, both on a regional scale and within individual segments. For young crust, cross-axis lines reveal differences between segments in Moho two-way traveltimes of 200–300 ms which indicate 0.5–1 km thicker crust at Endeavour and Cleft compared to Northern Symmetric. Moho traveltime anomalies extend beyond the 5–15 km wide axial high and coincide with distinct plateaus, 32 and 40 km wide and 200–400 m high, found at both segments. On older crust, Moho traveltimes are similar for all three segments (∼2100 ± 100 ms), indicating little difference in average crustal production prior to ∼0.6 and 0.7 Ma. The presence of broad axis-centered bathymetric plateau with thickened crust at Cleft and Endeavour segments is attributed to recent initiation of ridge axis-centered melt anomalies associated with the Cobb hot spot and the Heckle melt anomaly. Increased melt supply at Cleft segment upon initiation of Axial Volcano and southward propagation of Endeavour segment during the Brunhes point to rapid southward directed along-axis channeling of melt anomalies linked to these hot spots. Preferential southward flow of the Cobb and Heckle melt anomalies and the regional-scale south-to-north gradients in ridge structure along the JDFR may reflect influence of the northwesterly absolute motion of the ridge axis on subaxial melt distribution.
Author Posting. © American Geophysical Union, 2008. 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 9 (2008): Q08001, doi:10.1029/2007GC001922.