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Abstract

There are many publications describing a thermal gravity anomaly associated with young oceanic crust at mid-ocean ridges. This anomaly is due to lateral density changes in the lithosphere resulting from temperature variations within the asthenosphere. The amplitude of this thermal Bouguer gravity anomaly can be as large as-300 milliGals at the location where new oceanic crust is formed and is easily observed in the gravity data. A detailed gravity model extending from the West African Craton across the Mid-Atlantic Ridge clearly shows this thermal gravity anomaly and its lateral extent. The model also clearly shows that there is no evidence of a thermal gravity anomaly at the rifted continental margin of the Kwanza basin, offshore Angola.

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