Abstract

Atlantis Bank is an anomalously uplifted oceanic core complex adjacent to the Atlantis II transform, on the southwest Indian Ridge, that rises >3 km above normal seafloor of the same age. Models of flexural uplift due to detachment faulting can account for ∼1 km of this uplift. Postdetachment normal faults have been observed during submersible dives and on swath bathymetry. Two transform-parallel, large-offset (hundreds of meters) normal faults are identified on the eastern flank of Atlantis Bank, with numerous smaller faults (tens of meters) on the western flank. Flexural uplift associated with this transform-parallel normal faulting is consistent with gravity data and can account for the remaining anomalous uplift of Atlantis Bank. Extension normal to the Atlantis II transform may have occurred during a 12 m.y. period of transtension initiated by a 10° change in spreading direction ca. 19.5 Ma. This extension may have produced the 120-km-long transverse ridge of which Atlantis Bank is a part, and is consistent with stress reorientation about a weak transform fault.

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