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Axial magnetic anomalies over slow-spreading ridge segments: insights from numerical 3-D thermal and physical modelling

Abstract : The axial magnetic anomaly amplitude along Mid-Atlantic Ridge segments is systematically twice as high at segment ends compared with segment centres. Various processes have been proposed to account for such observations, either directly or indirectly related to the thermal structure of the segments: (1) shallower Curie isotherm at segment centres, (2) higher Fe-Ti content at segment ends, (3) serpentinized peridotites at segment ends or (4) a combination of these processes. In this paper the contribution of each of these processes to the axial magnetic anomaly amplitude is quantitatively evaluated by achieving a 3-D numerical modelling of the magnetization distribution and a magnetic anomaly over a medium-sized, 50 km long segment. The magnetization distribution depends on the thermal structure and thermal evolution of the lithosphere. The thermal structure is calculated considering the presence of a permanent hot zone beneath the segment centre. The 'best-fitting' thermal structure is determined by adjusting the parameters (shape, size, depth, etc.) of this hot zone, to fit the modelled geophysical outputs (Mantle Bouguer anomaly, maximum earthquake depths and crustal thickness) to the observations. Both the thermoremanent magnetization, acquired during the thermal evolution, and the induced magnetization, which depends on the present thermal structure, are modelled. The resulting magnetic anomalies are then computed and compared with the observed ones. This modelling exercise suggests that, in the case of aligned and slightly offset segments, a combination of higher Fe-Ti content and the presence of serpentinized peridotites at segment ends will produce the observed higher axial magnetic anomaly amplitudes over the segment ends. In the case of greater offsets, the presence of serpentinized peridotites at segment ends is sufficient to account for the observations.
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Geophys. J. Int.-2003-Gac-618-...
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Sébastien Gac, Jérôme Dyment, Chantal Tisseau, Jean Goslin. Axial magnetic anomalies over slow-spreading ridge segments: insights from numerical 3-D thermal and physical modelling. Geophysical Journal International, Oxford University Press (OUP), 2003, 154 (3), pp.618-632. ⟨10.1046/j.1365-246X.2003.01971.x⟩. ⟨insu-01309409⟩

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