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Southeast Indian Ridge: The influence of ridge morphology on the formation of abyssal hills

Goff, John; Ma, Ying; Shah, Anjana; Cochran, James R.; Sempere, Jean-Christophe

In this study we estimate the statistical properties of abyssal hill morphology adjacent to the Southeast Indian Ridge in a region where the axial morphology changes from axial high to axial valley without a corresponding change in spreading rate. We explore the influence of axial morphology on abyssal hills and place these results within the context of response to spreading rate. Two cruises aboard the RN Melville collected Sea Beam 2000 multibeam data along the Southeast Indian Ridge, providing continuous multibeam coverage of the axis from ~ 89°W to ~ l 18°W, and ~100% coverage within four survey regions extending out to ~45 km (~1.2 Ma) from the axis [Sempere et al., 1997; Cochran et al., 1997). We apply the statistical modeling method of Goff and Jordan [1988] to gridded data from the four survey areas, examining in particular estimates of abyssal hill rms height, characteristic width and length, aspect ratio, and skewness. Two analyses are performed: (1) comparison of the along-axis variation in abyssal hill characteristics to ridge segmentation, and (2) a calculation of population statistics within axial high, intermediate, and axial valley data populations of this study, and comparison of these results to population statistics derived from studies adjacent to the Mid-Atlantic Ridge and East Pacific Rise. We find that abyssal hills generated along axial high mid-ocean ridges are very different from those generated along axial valley mid-ocean ridges, not only with respect to size and shape, but also in their response to such factors as spreading rate and segmentation.

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Also Published In

Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth

More About This Work

Academic Units
Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory
Marine Geology and Geophysics
Published Here
June 24, 2019