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Segmentation and eruptive activity along the East Pacific Rise at 16 N, in relation with the nearby Mathematician hotspot

Abstract : The 16 N segment of the East Pacific Rise is the most overinflated and shallowest of this fast-spreading ridge, in relation with an important magma flux due to the proximity of the Mathematician hot-spot. Here, we analyze the detailed morphology of the axial dome and of the Axial Summit Trough (AST), the lava morphology, and the geometry of fissures and faults, in regard to the attributes of the magma chamber beneath and of the nearby hotspot. The data used are 1 m resolution bathymetry combined with seafloor photos and videos. At the dome summit, the AST is highly segmented by 10 third-order and fourth-order discontinuities over a distance of 30 km. Often, two contiguous and synchronous ASTs coexist. Such a configuration implies a wide (1100 m minimum) zone of diking. The existence of contiguous ASTs, their mobility, their general en echelon arrangement accommodating the bow shape of the axial dome toward the hotspot, plus the existence of a second magma lens under the western half of the summit pla-teau, clearly reflect the influence of the hotspot on the organization of the spreading system. The different ASTs exhibit contrasted widths and depths. We suggest that narrow ASTs reflect an intense volcanic activity that produces eruptions covering the tectonic features and partially filling the ASTs. AST widening and deepening would indicate a decrease in volcanic activity but with continued dike intrusions at the origin of abundant sets of fissures and faults that are not masked by volcanic deposits.
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M Le Saout, A Deschamps, S.A. Soule, Pascal Gente. Segmentation and eruptive activity along the East Pacific Rise at 16 N, in relation with the nearby Mathematician hotspot. Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems, AGU and the Geochemical Society, 2014, 15 (11), pp.4380-4399. ⟨10.1002/2014GC005560⟩. ⟨insu-01114931⟩

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