Recent off-axis volcanism in the eastern Gulf of Aden: Implications for plume-ridge interaction - Université Pierre et Marie Curie Access content directly
Journal Articles Earth and Planetary Science Letters Year : 2010

Recent off-axis volcanism in the eastern Gulf of Aden: Implications for plume-ridge interaction


Evidence of anomalous volcanism is readily observed in the Gulf of Aden, although, much of this oceanic basin remains as yet unmapped. In this paper, we investigate the possible connection of the Afar hotspot with a major off-axis volcanic structure and its interpretation as a consequence of a the anomalous presence of melt by integrating several data sets, both published and unpublished, from the Encens-Sheba cruise, the Aden New Century (ANC) cruise and several other onshore and marine surveys. These include bathymetric, gravity, magnetic, magneto-telluric data, and rock samples. Based upon these observations, interpretations were made of seafloor morphology, gravity and magnetic models, seafloor age, geochemical analyses and tectonic setting. We discuss the possible existence of a regional melting anomaly in the Gulf of Aden area and of the probability of its connection to the Afar plume. Several models that might explain the anomalous volcanism are taken into account, such as a local melting anomaly unrelated to the Afar plume, an anomalously large volume of melt associated with seafloor spreading, and interaction of the ridge with the Afar plume. A local melting anomaly and atypical seafloor spreading prove inconsistent with our observations. Two previously proposed models of plume-ridge interactions are examined: the diffuse plume dispersion called pancaked flow and channelized along-axis flow. We conclude that the configuration and structure of this young ocean basin may have the effect of channeling material away from the Afar plume along the Aden and Sheba Ridges to produce the off-axis volcanism observed on the ridge flanks. This interpretation implies that the influence of the Afar hotspot may extend much farther eastwards into the Gulf of Aden than previously believed. The segmentation of the Gulf of Aden and the configuration of the Aden-Sheba system may provide a potential opportunity to study channeled flow of solid plume mantle from the plume along a segmented ridge and nearby continental margins.
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hal-00486140 , version 1 (04-05-2022)


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Sylvie Leroy, Elia d'Acremont, Christel Tiberi, Clemence Basuyau, Julia Autin, et al.. Recent off-axis volcanism in the eastern Gulf of Aden: Implications for plume-ridge interaction. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 2010, 293 (1-2), pp.140-153. ⟨10.1016/j.epsl.2010.02.036⟩. ⟨hal-00486140⟩
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