The interaction of the Juan de Fuca Ridge with the Cobb hot spot has had a considerable influence on the magmatism of the Axial Segment of the ridge, the second-order segment that overlies the hot spot. In addition to the construction of the large volcanic edifice of Axial Seamount, the Axial Segment has shallow bathymetry and a prevalence of constructional volcanic features along its 100-km length, suggesting that hot spot-derived magmas supplement and oversupply the ridge. Lavas are generally more primitive at Axial Seamount and more evolved in the Axial Segment rift zones, suggesting that fractional crystallization is enhanced with increasing distance from the hot spot because of a reduced magma supply and more rapid cooling. Although the Cobb hot spot is not an isotopically enriched plume, it produces lavas with some distinct geochemical characteristics relative to normal mid-ocean ridge basalt, such as enrichments in alkalis and highly incompatible trace elements, that can be used as tracers to identify the presence and prevalence of the hot spot influence along the ridge. These characteristics are most prominent at Axial Seamount and decline in gradients along the Axial Segment. The physical model that can best explain the geochemical observations is a scenario in which hot spot and mid-ocean ridge basalt (MORB) magmas mix to varying degrees, with the proportions controlled by the depth to the MORB source. Modeling of two-component mixing suggests that MORB is the dominant component in most Axial Segment basalts. Copyright 2005 by the American Geophysical Union.
Additional Publication Details
Magmatic effects of the Cobb hot spot on the Juan de Fuca Ridge