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The tectonic fabric of the ocean basins


Matthews, KJ and Muller, RD and Wessel, P and Whittaker, J, The tectonic fabric of the ocean basins, Journal of Geophysical Research-Space Physics, 116, (B12) Article B12109. ISSN 0148-0227 (2011) [Refereed Article]

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Copyright Statement

Copyright 2011 by the American Geophysical Union.

DOI: doi:10.1029/2011JB008413


We present a global community data set of fracture zones (FZs), discordant zones, propagating ridges, V-shaped structures and extinct ridges, digitized from vertical gravity gradient (VGG) maps. We use a new semi-automatic FZ tracking program to test the precision of our hand-digitized traces and find a Mean Absolute Deviation of less than 3.4 km from the raw VGG minima that most clearly delineate each feature, and less than 5.4 km from the FZ location predicted by fitting model profiles to the VGG data that represent the morphology of the individual FZs. These offsets are small considering gravity data only provide an approximation for the underlying basement morphology. We further investigate the origin of non-FZ seafloor fabric by combining published abyssal hill heights computed from gravity anomalies with global half-spreading rates. A residual abyssal hill height grid, with spreading rate effects removed, combined with our interpreted tectonic fabric reveals several types of seafloor fabric distinct from typical abyssal hills. Where discordant zones do not overprint abyssal hill signals, residual abyssal hill height anomalies correspond to seafloor that accreted near mantle thermal anomalies or zones of melt-depletion. Our analysis reveals several areas where residual abyssal hill height anomalies reflect pseudo-faults and extinct ridges associated with ridge propagation and/or microplate formation in the southern Pacific Ocean.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:seafloor morphology, fracture zones
Research Division:Earth Sciences
Research Group:Geology
Research Field:Marine geoscience
Objective Division:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Group:Expanding knowledge
Objective Field:Expanding knowledge in the earth sciences
UTAS Author:Whittaker, J (Associate Professor Jo Whittaker)
ID Code:84435
Year Published:2011
Web of Science® Times Cited:106
Deposited By:IMAS Research and Education Centre
Deposited On:2013-05-14
Last Modified:2017-10-06

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