Abstract

We analyzed bathymetric and gravity anomalies along present and paleoaxes of oceanic spreading centers influenced by the Iceland, Azores, Galápagos, Tristan, and Easter hotspots. Residual bathymetry (up to 4.7 km) and mantle Bouguer gravity (up to −340 km) anomalies are maximum at on-axis hotspots and decrease with increasing ridge-hotspot separation distance (D), until becoming insignificant at D ∼500 km. Along-isochron widths of bathymetric anomalies (up to 2700 km) depend inversely on paleo–spreading rate, reflecting the extent to which plume material will flow along axis before being swept away by the spreading lithosphere. Flux balance arguments suggest that the five hotspots feed material to ridges with comparable fluxes of ∼2.2 × 106 km3/m.y. Assuming that the amplitudes of these geophysical anomalies reflect temperature-dependent crustal thickness and mantle density variations, we suggest that ridge temperature anomalies are maximum (150–225 ° C) when plumes are ridge centered and decrease with increasing ridge-hotspot distance due to cooling of the ridgeward-migrating plume material.

First Page Preview

First page PDF preview
You do not currently have access to this article.