The Relationships Between Volcanism, Tectonism, and Hydrothermal Activity on the Southern Equatorial Mid-Atlantic Ridge.

Devey, Colin W. , German, C. R., Haase, K. M., Lackschewitz, Klas, Melchert, Bernd and Connelly, D. P. (2010) The Relationships Between Volcanism, Tectonism, and Hydrothermal Activity on the Southern Equatorial Mid-Atlantic Ridge. In: Diversity of Hydrothermal Systems on Slow Spreading Ocean Ridges. , ed. by Rona, Peter A. and Devey, Colin W.. Geophysical Monograph Series, 188 . American Geophysical Union, Washington, DC, pp. 133-152. ISBN 978-0-87390-478-8

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The Mid-Atlantic Ridge south of the equator is a key region for many aspects of spreading axis studies, from biogeography to ridge-hotspot interaction. Despite this, the ridge axis had, until 2004, seen little systematic study. Repeated trips to the area since then have mapped and explored some 900 km of ridge length, from 2° to 14°S. The result is complete bathymetric and side-scan coverage of the axial region and the discovery and characterization of the first hydrothermal vents south of the equator. Such multisegment detailed and interdisciplinary coverage allows us to formulate a general model for the interplay between volcanism, tectonics, and hydrothermalism on a slow spreading ridge. The model defines three basic types of ridge morphology with specific hydrothermal characteristics: (a) a deep, tectonically dominated rift valley where hydrothermalism is seldom associated with volcanism and much more likely confined to long-lived bounding faults; (b) a shallower, segment-center bulge where a combination of repeated magmatic activity and tectonism results in repeated, possibly temporally overlapping periods of hydrothermal activity on the ridge axis; and (c) a very shallow axis beneath which temperatures in all but the uppermost crust are so high that deformation is ductile, inhibiting the formation of high-porosity deep fractures and severely depressing hydrothermal circulation. This model is used together with satellitederived predicted bathymetry to provide forecasts of the best places to look for hydrothermal sites in the remaining unexplored regions of the South Atlantic.

Document Type: Book chapter
Keywords: Geodynamics; Volcanology; Sea-floor spreading; Mid-Atlantic Ridge
Research affiliation: OceanRep > GEOMAR > FB4 Dynamics of the Ocean Floor > FB4-MUHS Magmatic and Hydrothermal Systems
ISSN: 0065-8448
Date Deposited: 06 Sep 2010 08:21
Last Modified: 18 Jul 2013 07:59

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