Abyssal hills formed by stretching oceanic lithosphere

  title={Abyssal hills formed by stretching oceanic lithosphere},
  author={W. Roger Buck and Alexei N. B. Poliakov},
Tectonic plates are formed and move apart at mid-ocean ridges. Some portion of this plate-separation process can occur by stretching of the crust, resulting in a complex pattern of extensional faults. Abyssal hills, the most ubiquitous topographic features on Earth, are thought to be a product of this faulting,. Here we report the results of a self-consistent numerical model of lithospheric formation and stretching that includes spontaneous fault creation. In this model, an axial valley… 
Modes of faulting at mid-ocean ridges
Numerical models of plate separation, dyke intrusion and faulting require at least two distinct mechanisms of fault formation at ridges to explain a large range of fault sizes and orientations.
Rifting above a mantle plume: structure and development of the Iceland Plateau
The interaction of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge with the North Atlantic Mantle Plume has produced a magmatic plateau centred about Iceland. The crust of this plateau is 30 km thick on average. This
Numerical models of lithospheric deformation forming the Southern Alps of New Zealand
Compression of the entire continental lithosphere is considered using two-dimensional numerical models, in order to study the influence of the lithospheric mantle on the geometry of continental
Anomalous Subduction Initiation: Young Under Old Oceanic Lithosphere
When subduction initiates along a transform fault, it is often interpreted that the older and therefore denser oceanic lithosphere should evolve into the downgoing plate. However, in the western
Effect of lithospheric geometry on rift valley relief
[1] Continental and mid-oceanic rifts commonly show a rift valley bounded by normal faults and uplifted shoulders. In this paper we numerically model the evolution of rift valley relief in a notched
A Numerical Model of Lithospheric Extension Producing Fault-Bounded Basins and Ranges
We present a set of self-consistent numerical experiments resulting in the development of local weak zones within a wide region of extending brittle lithosphere overlying viscous asthenosphere. In
Geophysics: Finding chaos in abyssal hills
The abyssal hills which occur all over the floors of the world's oceans are generated at faults at mid-ocean-ridge spreading centres. There are two principal but largely incompatible ways of
Spacing of faults at the scale of the lithosphere and localization instability: 1. Theory
[1] Large-scale tectonic structures such as orogens and rifts commonly display regularly spaced faults and/or localized shear zones. To understand how fault sets organize with a characteristic


Mechanisms of lithospheric extension at mid-ocean ridges
SUMMARY We examine the extensional deformation of oceanic plates at mid-ocean ridges, especially within an axial yield zone where pervasive faulting occurs. Thermal models of ridges are developed
Ridge segmentation, faulting and crustal thickness in the Atlantic Ocean
THE Mid-Atlantic Ridge (MAR) between the Kane and Atlantis fracture zones consists of segments 20–85 km in length1; bull's-eye patterns in the mantle Bouguer gravity anomaly field2 centred on several
Correction: 'Necking of the Lithosphere and the Mechanics of Slowly Accreting Plate Boundaries'
Data on ridges with slow spreading rates (1–3 cm/yr), obtained through detailed studies with Deep-Tow instruments and manned submersibles (French-American Mid-Ocean Undersea Study), or where the
A simple model for the fault‐generated morphology of slow‐spreading mid‐oceanic ridges
We postulate that fluctuations in magmatic activity at mid-oceanic ridges perturb the horizontal least principal stress across rift-bounding normal faults, leading to alternating phases of magmatic
Physical modeling of slow seafloor spreading
A properly scaled thermo-mechanical experimental model of slow seafloor spreading is developed to investigate the mechanism of lithosphere accretion. The melt of a specially fabricated hydrocarbon
Volcanic growth faults and the origin of Pacific abyssal hills
The topographic features known as abyssal hills characterize >30% of the ocean floor, and yet their origin has been the subject of vigorous debate for over 40 years. Submersible-based investigations
Anelasticity explains topography associated with Basin and Range normal faulting
Topography associated with normal faulting in the Basin and Range (western United States) is usually modeled as a flexure of a broken elastic plate. However, modeled effective rigidities are usually
A nonlinear rheology model for mid‐ocean ridge axis topography
This paper describes a mechanical model of the mid-ocean ridge axis based on a nonlinear rheology. The oceanic lithosphere is modeled as a strongly temperature-dependent “power law” material with the
Models of ocean ridge lithospheric deformation: Dependence on crustal thickness, spreading rate, and segmentation
We use three-dimensional (3-D) temperature and rheology models to investigate the effects of crustal thickness and ridge segmentation on mid-ocean ridge lithospheric structure. We find that crustal