Volcanic evolution of an ultraslow-spreading ridge
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionNature Communications. 2023, 14 (1), 4134. 10.1038/s41467-023-39925-0
Nearly 30% of ocean crust forms at mid-ocean ridges where the spreading rate is less than 20 mm per year. According to the seafloor spreading paradigm, oceanic crust forms along a narrow axial zone and is transported away from the rift valley. However, because quantitative age data of volcanic eruptions are lacking, constructing geological models for the evolution of ultraslow-spreading crust remains a challenge. In this contribution, we use sediment thicknesses acquired from ~4000 km of sub-bottom profiler data combined with 14C ages from sediment cores to determine the age of the ocean floor of the oblique ultraslow-spreading Mohns Ridge to reveal a systematic pattern of young volcanism outside axial volcanic ridges. Here, we present an age map of the upper lava flows within the rift valley of a mid-ocean ridge and find that nearly half of the rift valley floor has been rejuvenated by volcanic activity during the last 25 Kyr.