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Seismic shear-wave structure of the upper mantle beneath the Mohns Ridge

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Item Summary

Title:Seismic shear-wave structure of the upper mantle beneath the Mohns Ridge
Authors:Conley, Michaela Mercedes
Keywords:Mohns Ridge
Date Issued:Aug 2011
Publisher:[Honolulu] : [University of Hawaii at Manoa], [August 2011]
Abstract:Crust produced at mid-ocean ridges with full spreading rates less than ~20 mm/yr is observed to be only 0-4 km thick, well below the global average of 6-7 km for oceanic crust produced at faster spreading rates. The origin of this difference is unknown, but is speculated to result from a thicker thermal boundary layer at the axis of the slower spreading ridges that either inhibits shallow melting or melt extraction. We present an analysis of regional broadband data, predominately Love and Rayleigh waves, collected along the very slow-spreading Mohns Ridge (where crustal thickness is ~4 km) in the Norwegian-Greenland Sea. The seismic data constrain lithospheric and asthenospheric velocities for lithospheric ages from 0-25 Ma. We find lithospheric thickness to closely match the prediction of a simple ridge half-space thermal model (via the temperature and pressure effects on the seismic properties of mantle materials) and asthenospheric shear wave velocities to be consistent with this thermal model plus <2% melt at the youngest ages. Just at the top of the mantle, a thin zone with velocities intermediate between those of mantle and gabbroic rocks suggests that some melt is frozen into the mantle as might occur if a thin axial lithospheric lid inhibits melt extraction from the mantle and the melt is subsequently frozen into the mantle. While this explains the thin crust, the possibility that hydrothermal alteration produces the low mantle velocities cannot be ruled out.
Description:M.S. University of Hawaii at Manoa 2011.
Includes bibliographical references.
Appears in Collections: M.S. - Geology and Geophysics

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