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Cracking of lithosphere north of the Galapagos triple junction

Hans Schouten, Deborah K. Smith, Laurent G. J. Montesi, Wenlu Zhu and Emily M. Klein
Cracking of lithosphere north of the Galapagos triple junction
Geology (Boulder) (May 2008) 36 (5): 339-342


The Galapagos triple junction is a ridge-ridge-ridge triple junction where the Cocos, Nazca, and Pacific Plates meet around the Galapagos microplate. Directly north of the large scarps of the Cocos-Nazca Rift, a 250-km-long and 50-km-wide band of northwest-southeast-trending cracks with volcanics at their western ends crosscuts and blankets the north-south-trending abyssal hills of the East Pacific Rise. It appears that the roughly northeast-southwest extension of East Pacific Rise-generated seafloor has been accommodated by a succession of minor rifts that, during at least the past 4 m.y., had their triple junctions with the East Pacific Rise at distances of 50-100 km north of the tip of the propagating Cocos-Nazca Rift. We propose that the rift locations are controlled by stresses associated with the dominant Cocos-Nazca Rift, and scaled by the distance of its tip to the East Pacific Rise. We speculate that similar ephemeral rifts occurred south of the Cocos-Nazca Rift and were instrumental in the origin of the rotating Galapagos microplate ca. 1.5 Ma.

ISSN: 0091-7613
EISSN: 1943-2682
Serial Title: Geology (Boulder)
Serial Volume: 36
Serial Issue: 5
Title: Cracking of lithosphere north of the Galapagos triple junction
Affiliation: Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Department of Geology and Geophysics, Woods Hole, MA, United States
Pages: 339-342
Published: 200805
Text Language: English
Publisher: Geological Society of America (GSA), Boulder, CO, United States
References: 16
Accession Number: 2008-088515
Categories: Solid-earth geophysics
Document Type: Serial
Bibliographic Level: Analytic
Illustration Description: illus. incl. sketch maps
N02°30'00" - N03°00'00", W102°00'00" - W101°19'60"
Secondary Affiliation: University of Maryland, USA, United StatesDuke University, USA, United States
Country of Publication: United States
Secondary Affiliation: GeoRef, Copyright 2017, American Geosciences Institute. Reference includes data from GeoScienceWorld, Alexandria, VA, United States. Reference includes data supplied by the Geological Society of America, Boulder, CO, United States
Update Code: 200827
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