Tectonics of the East Pacific Rise: Studies of Faulting Characteristics and Magnetic and Gravity Anomalies

Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Department of Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences, 1995 - 1020페이지
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The global mid-ocean ridge system is one of the most striking geological features on the surface of the Earth. In this system, the East Pacific Rise (EPR) is the fastest spreading ridge and is thus considered as the most active magmatically among the plate boundaries. In January and February of 1988, an extensive survey by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution was conducted along the EPR between 9°05' and 9°55'N to study the crustal structure of the axial region. This thesis, the result of that cruise, comprises four main topics: (1) characterization of normal faulting from Sea Beam bathymetric data, (2) application of mechanical models to explore the hypothesis that buoyancy arising from crustal magma chambers and gravitational spreading of the upper crust are the principal processes leading to the initiation and development of normal faults, (3) investigation of seafloor magnetization anomalies to constrain upper crustal structure, and (4) analysis of gravity anomalies to examine possible correlations between observed variations in seafloor manifestations of volcanism and deformation and underlying structure. Thus, each topic focuses on different levels of the mid-ocean ridge. Together with the results of seismic and other observations, the findings are woven into a better understanding of the tectonic processes and structure of fastspreading mid-ocean ridges.

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