Interactions between mantle plumes and mid-ocean ridges : constraints from geophysics, geochemistry, and geodynamical modeling
Author(s)Georgen, Jennifer E
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.
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This thesis studies interactions between mid-ocean ridges and mantle plumes using geophysics, geochemistry, and geodynamical modeling. Chapter 1 investigates the effects of the Marion and Bouvet hotspots on the ultra-slow spreading, highly-segmented Southwest Indian Ridge (SWIR). Gravity data indicate that both Marion and Bouvet impart high-amplitude mantle Bouguer anomaly lows to the ridge axis, and suggest that long-offset transforms may diminish along-axis plume flow. Building upon this observation, Chapter 2 presents a series of 3D numerical models designed to quantify the sensitivity of along-axis plume-driven mantle flow to transform offset length, spreading rate, and mantle viscosity structure. The calculations illustrate that long-offset transforms in ultra-slow spreading environments may significantly curtail plume dispersion. Chapter 3 investigates helium isotope systematics along the western SWIR as well as near a global array of hotspots. The first part of this study reports uniformly low 3He/4He ratios of 6.3-7.3 R/Ra along the SWIR from 9⁰-24⁰E, compared to values of 8 +/- 1 Ra for normal mid-ocean ridge basalt. The favored explanation for these low values is addition of (U+Th) into the mantle source by crustal and/or lithospheric recycling. Although high He/4He values have been observed along the SWIR near Bouvet Island to the west, there is no evidence for elevated 3He/4He ratios along this section of the SWIR. The second part of Chapter 3 investigates the relationship between 3He/4He ratios and geophysical indicators of plume robustness for nine hotspots.(cont.) A close correlation between a plume's flux and maximum 3He/4He ratio suggests a link between plume upwelling strength and origination in the deep, relatively undegassed mantle. Chapter 4 studies 3D mantle flow and temperature patterns beneath oceanic ridge-ridge-ridge triple junctions (TJs). In non-hotspot-affected TJs with geometry similar to the Rodrigues TJ, temperature and upwelling velocity along the slowest-spreading of the three ridges are predicted to increase within a few hundred kilometers of the TJ, to approach those of the fastest-spreading ridge. Along the slowest-spreading branch in hotspot-affected TJs such as the Azores, a strong component of along-axis flow directed away from the TJ is predicted to advect a hotspot thermal anomaly away from its deep-seated source.
Thesis (Ph. D.)--Joint Program in Oceanography (Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dept. of Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences; and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution), 2001."September 2001." Vita. Page 223 blank.Includes bibliographical references.
DepartmentJoint Program in Oceanography; Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution; Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences; Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Ocean Engineering
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Joint Program in Oceanography., Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences., Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.