Plates, Plumes and Planetary Processes
Global plume-fed asthenosphere flow—II: Application to the geochemical segmentation of mid-ocean ridges
Published:January 01, 2007
Michiko Yamamoto, Jason Phipps Morgan, W. Jason Morgan, 2007. "Global plume-fed asthenosphere flow—II: Application to the geochemical segmentation of mid-ocean ridges", Plates, Plumes and Planetary Processes, Gillian R. Foulger, Donna M. Jurdy
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Asthenosphere plume-to-ridge flow has often been proposed to explain both the existence of geochemical anomalies at the mid-ocean ridge segments nearest an off-axis hotspot and the existence of apparent geochemical provinces within the global mid-ocean spreading system. We have constructed a thin-spherical-shell finite element model to explore the possible structure of global asthenosphere flow and to determine whether plume-fed asthenosphere flow is compatible with present-day geochemical and geophysical observations. The assumptions behind the physical flow model are described in the companion paper to this study. Despite its oversimplifications (especially the steady-state assumption), Atlantic, Indian, and Pacific mid-ocean ridge isotope geochemistry can be fit well at medium and long wavelengths by the predicted global asthenosphere flow pattern from distinct plume sources. The model suggests that the rapidly northward-moving southern margin of Australia, not the Australia-Antarctic discordance, is the convergence zone for much plume material in the southern hemisphere. It also suggests a possible link between the strike of asthenosphere flow with respect to a ridge axis and along-axis isotopic peaks.