Abstract

The northern end of Juan de Fuca Ridge consists of a series of basement ridges and valleys, inundated with sediment except for the axis of most recent sea-floor spreading. This axis is associated with the western of two branches of the Brunhes magnetic anomaly. The eastern branch of the magnetic anomaly is associated with a largely sediment-covered ridge, apparently produced by spreading early in the Brunhes Epoch. The intervening negative anomaly is probably caused by reversely magnetized rocks older than 0.7 m.y. Basalts dredged from the region of the northern end of Juan de Fuca Ridge have compositions typical of low-potassium ocean ridge basalts. They differ from basalts reported from the southern part of Juan de Fuca Ridge which have higher K2O, TiO2, FeOT, and FeOT/MgO. This difference is compatible with the hypothesis that a mantle plume exists under the southern part of the ridge. Distribution of earthquake epicenters suggests that the Queen Charlotte Fault Zone presently extends south of Explorer Ridge to intersect Juan de Fuca Ridge at 49°N and that the Sovanco Fracture Zone no longer functions as a transform fault.

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