Abstract

The available seismic and magnetic data show the Gakkel Ridge rift zone consisting of the Atlantic and Siberian segments divided by a tectonic suture at 70° E. The two segments have had different histories recorded in their sedimentary cover. Apart from the difference in its morphology, the Siberian segment differs from the Atlantic one in the existence of a series of deposition centers, which might represent a vast Paleogenic basin that formed prior to the Gakkel Ridge. The simple model of North Atlantic spreading fails to explain the long and complex history of the Gakkel Ridge rift and the existence of the depocenters. The particular structure of this zone might have resulted from the growth of rift mountains by accretion of magmatic material during the Paleogene, without significant sea floor spreading.

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