Abstract

A detailed ANGUS (Acoustically Navigated Geological Undersea Surveyor) photographic and bathymetric survey of the East Pacific Rise (EPR) near lat 19°S reveals a small jump of the ridge axis to the west. The axial block in this region consists of two parallel ridges 3 km apart and separated by a 200-m-deep valley. South of lat 19°06′S the plate boundary is a single, narrow (<1 km) ridge. The eastern ridge near lat 19°S is shallower than the western ridge and is morphologically a continuation of the narrow, active ridge axis to the south. ANGUS photographs along both ridges and in the intervening valley, however, show that the western ridge is the currently active plate boundary. We suggest that spreading shifted westward from the eastern ridge to its present position within the past 40 000 yr. The EPR in the general region has been characterized by asymmetric spreading for the past 2.4 m.y. The sense of the ridge jump near lat 19°S is consistent with the asymmetric spreading, which could have been produced by a series of such jumps.

You do not currently have access to this article.