Marine Science Faculty Publications

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Mantle plumes, mid‐ocean ridges, hotspots

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As the Galápagos hot spot is approached from the west along the Galápagos Spreading Center there are systematic increases in crustal thickness and in the K/Ti, Nb/Zr, 3He/4He, H2O, and Na2O content of lavas recovered from the spreading axis. These increases correlate with progressive transitions from rift valley to axial high morphology along with decreases in average swell depth, residual mantle Bouguer gravity anomaly, magma chamber depth, average lava Mg #, Ca/Al ratio, and the frequency of point‐fed versus fissure‐fed volcanism. Magma chamber depth and axial morphology display a “threshold” effect in which small changes in magma supply result in large changes in these variables. These correlated variations in geophysical, geochemical, and volcanological manifestations of plume‐ridge interaction along the western Galápagos Spreading Center reflect the combined effects of changes in mantle temperature and source composition on melt generation processes, and the consequences of these variations on magma supply, axial thermal structure, basalt chemistry, and styles of volcanism.

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Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems, v. 3, issue 10, art. 8501

Copyright 2002 by the American Geophysical Union.

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