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  • 1
    AGU (American Geological Union) | Wiley
    In:  Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems, 20 (8). pp. 3841-3860.
    Publication Date: 2019-11-15
    Description: Mid‐ocean ridge axes are marked by segmentation of the axes and underlying magmatic systems. Fine‐scale segmentation has mainly been studied along fast‐spreading ridges. Here we offer insight into the third‐ and fourth‐order segmentation of intermediate‐spreading ridges and their temporal evolution. The Alarcón Rise and the Endeavour Segment have similar spreading rates (49 and 52.5 mm/year, respectively) but contrasting morphologies that vary from an axial high with a relatively narrow axial summit trough to an axial valley. One‐meter resolution bathymetry acquired by autonomous underwater vehicles, lava geochemistry, and ages from sediment cores is combined with available seismic reflection profiles to analyze variations in (1) geometry and orientation of the axial summit trough or valley, (2) seafloor depth near the axis, and (3) distribution of hydrothermal vents, (4) lava chemistry, and (5) flow ages between contiguous axes. Along both intermediate‐spreading segments, third‐ and fourth‐order discontinuities and associated segments are similar in dimension to what has been observed along fast‐spreading ridges. The Alarcón Rise and the Endeavour Segment also allow the study of the evolution of fine‐scale segmentation over periods of 300 to 4,000 years. Comparison between old and young axes reveals that the evolution of fine‐scale segmentation depends on the intensity of the magmatic activity. High magmatic periods are associated with rapid evolution of third‐order segments, while low magmatic activity periods, dominated by tectonic deformation and/or hydrothermal activity, are associated with little to no change in segmentation.
    Type: Article , PeerReviewed
    Format: text
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