Sill to surface: Linking young off-axis volcanism with subsurface melt at the overlapping spreading center at 9 degrees 03 ' N East Pacific Rise

TitleSill to surface: Linking young off-axis volcanism with subsurface melt at the overlapping spreading center at 9 degrees 03 ' N East Pacific Rise
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2013
AuthorsWaters C.L, Sims K.WW, Klein E.M, White S.M, Reagan M.K, Girard G.
JournalEarth and Planetary Science Letters
Volume369
Pagination59-70
Date Published2013/05
Type of ArticleArticle
ISBN Number0012-821X
Accession NumberWOS:000320684500006
Keywordsbeneath; constraints; de-fuca ridge; disequilibria; east pacific rise; generation; lava-field; lower crust; magma; mid-ocean ridge basalt; midocean ridges; off-axis; seismic-reflection images; submarine; U-series; volcanism
Abstract

No young, off-axis, mid-ocean ridge lavas have yet been directly linked to underlying off-axis melt bodies. In this study, we present new measurements of U-238-Th-230-Ra-226-Pb-210 isotope compositions for a suite of lavas from the overlapping spreading center (OSC) at 9 degrees 03'N on the East Pacific Rise (EPR). These lavas span a large range of compositions, from basalt to dacite, and include both axial and off-axis samples recovered from a prominent, axis-parallel pillow ridge and a flat-topped seamount that overlie the westernmost extent of a 4-km-wide melt lens (Kent et al., 2000). We report Pb-210 excesses in axial basalts and basaltic andesites, which we suggest results from gas-magma fractionation of Rn-222 from Ra-226 beneath dacite magmas. In addition, our U-series ages agree with visual observations, indicating that while most recent volcanic activity occurs at the spreading axis, active volcanism also occurs away from the axis. Specifically, the off-axis pillow ridge and seamount samples overlying the off-axis subsurface melt body have eruption ages of less than 8 ka, and likely as young as 1 ka, despite being located on crust that has a spreading age of similar to 75 ka. The young ages of these lavas, combined with existing geological, geochemical and geophysical constraints, provide evidence for a genetic link between the pillow ridge and seamount lavas and the seismically imaged, underlying off-axis melt lens. This link demonstrates that off-axis volcanism does not necessarily come from a sub-axial magma body and can be sourced directly from off-axis magma bodies. (C) 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

DOI10.1016/j.epsl.2013.03.006
Short TitleEarth Planet. Sci. Lett.
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