The morphometric characteristics of the axial regions of oceanic spreading centers are determined by (1) the type of volcanic flows, (2) the relation between primary volcanic relief (on a scale of a few meters to tens of meters) and degree of sediment cover, and (3) the extent of surficial expression and timing of tectonic disruption of the young oceanic crust. Even within a single, continuous, linear spreading-ridge segment with relatively uniform axial valley dimensions over a distance of 50 or more kilometers, such as along the southern Juan de Fuca Ridge, the changes in morphometric characteristics along axis within the youngest crust indicate distinct variation in tectonic and volcanic activity over short distances within short time periods. An integrated analysis of Sea MARC I, Sea MARC II, and photographic data for the southernmost continuous segment of the Juan de Fuca Ridge shows that generalizations about tectonic and volcanic processes at spreading ridges must consider both the temporal scale of processes as well as the physical scales of observations if predictive models are to be successful. Comparison of the morphometric expression within the major hydrothermal vent area and the rest of the southernmost ridge segment suggests that the mapped distribution of hydrothermal vents may reflect the extent of survey effort rather than uniqueness of geologic setting.
Additional publication details
|Publication Subtype||Journal Article|
|Title||Morphometric variability within the axial zone of the southern Juan de Fuca Ridge: Interpretation from Sea MARC II, Sea MARC I, and deep-sea photography|
|Series title||Journal of Geophysical Research B: Solid Earth|
|Contributing office(s)||Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center|