Thermal and rheological state of the lithosphere and specific features of structuring in the rift zone of the Reykjanes Ridge (from the results of numerical and experimental modeling)
Specific features of the bottom topography structure and the character of morphostructural segmentation of the rift zone of the Reykjanes Ridge change substantially along the ridge strike with increasing distance from Iceland’s hotspot. A clearly pronounced regularity of changes is observed in the rift zone’s morphology from the axial uplift (in the northern part of the ridge) to the rift valleys (in the southern part of the ridge) through an intermediate or transitional type of morphology. The results of numerical modeling showed that changes in the rift zone’s morphology along the Reykjanes Ridge strike are largely caused by changes in the degree of mantle heating and depend on the intensity of magma supply. It is shown that under conditions of ultraslow spreading, it is these parameters that control the presence or absence of crustal magma chambers, as well as the thickness of the effectively-elastic layer of the axial lithosphere. The experimental modeling of topography-forming deformations and structuring on the Reykjanes Ridge showed that under oblique extension, specific features of the formation of axial fractures and the character of their segmentation mainly depend on the thickness of the axial lithosphere, its heating zone width, and the kinematics of spreading. The experiments also showed that the tendency of fractures to develop obliquely to the extension axis is caused by the action of the inclined zone of the location of the deformation, and shear deformations play a substantial role in the lithosphere’s destruction as the inclination angle increases.
Keywordsthe Reykjanes Ridge spreading ridges numerical and experimental modeling structuring
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