Constraints on volumes and patterns of asthenospheric melt from the space-time distribution of seamounts

Clinton P. Conrad, Kate Selway, Marc M. Hirschmann, Maxim D. Ballmer, Paul Wessel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

Although partial melt in the asthenosphere is important geodynamically, geophysical constraints on its abundance remain ambiguous. We use a database of seamounts detected using satellite altimetry to constrain the temporal history of erupted asthenospheric melt. We find that intraplate volcanism on young seafloor (<60 Ma) equates to a ~20 m thick layer spread across the seafloor. If these seamounts tap partial melt within a ~20 km thick layer beneath the ridge flanks, they indicate extraction of an average melt fraction of ~0.1%. If they source thinner layers or more laterally restricted domains, larger melt fractions are required. Increased seamount volumes for older lithosphere suggest either more active ridge flank volcanism during the Cretaceous or additional recent melt eruption on older seafloor. Pacific basin age constraints suggest that both processes are important. Our results indicate that small volumes of partial melt may be prevalent in the upper asthenosphere across ocean basins.

LanguageEnglish
Pages7203-7210
Number of pages8
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Volume44
Issue number14
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 28 Jul 2017

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seamounts
seamount
asthenosphere
melt
ridges
satellite altimetry
taps
seafloor
lithosphere
volcanic eruptions
oceans
volcanism
histories
ocean basin
distribution
volcanic eruption
Cretaceous
history
basin

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Conrad, Clinton P. ; Selway, Kate ; Hirschmann, Marc M. ; Ballmer, Maxim D. ; Wessel, Paul. / Constraints on volumes and patterns of asthenospheric melt from the space-time distribution of seamounts. In: Geophysical Research Letters. 2017 ; Vol. 44, No. 14. pp. 7203-7210.
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Constraints on volumes and patterns of asthenospheric melt from the space-time distribution of seamounts. / Conrad, Clinton P.; Selway, Kate; Hirschmann, Marc M.; Ballmer, Maxim D.; Wessel, Paul.

In: Geophysical Research Letters, Vol. 44, No. 14, 28.07.2017, p. 7203-7210.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

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