Location of Repository

Plate boundary reorganization at a large-offset, rapidly propagating rift

By R.N. Hey, P.D. Johnson, F. Martinez, J. Korenaga, M.L. Somers, Q.J. Huggett, T.P. Le Bas, R.I. Rusby and D.F. Naar

Abstract

THE existence of rapidly spinning microplates along the southern East Pacific Rise has been documented by geophysical swath-mapping surveys1–6, and their evolution has been successfully described by an edge-driven kinematic model7. But the mechanism by which such microplates originate remains unknown. Proposed mechanisms1–10 have generally involved rift propagation11, possibly driven by hotspots or changes in direction of sea-floor spreading. Here we present geophysical data collected over the Earth's fastest spreading centre, the Pacific–Nazca ridge between the Easter and Juan Fernandez microplates (Fig. 1), which reveal a large-offset propagating rift presently reorganizing the plate boundary geometry. A recent episode of rapid 'duelling' propagation of the historically failing spreading centre in this system has created a 120 120 km overlap zone between dual active spreading centres, which may be the initial stage of formation of a new microplate

Topics: QE, GC
Year: 1995
OAI identifier: oai:eprints.soton.ac.uk:50829
Provided by: e-Prints Soton
Download PDF:
Sorry, we are unable to provide the full text but you may find it at the following location(s):
  • http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/3781... (external link)
  • Suggested articles


    To submit an update or takedown request for this paper, please submit an Update/Correction/Removal Request.