Centre for Deep Sea Research
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Volcanic evolution of an ultraslow-spreading ridge

Håvard Stubseid and his colleagues just published a new article in Nature communication.

Volcanic evolution of an ultraslow-spreading ridge. Stubseid et al. 2023

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In this study, we present the first ridge-scale age map of the upper lava flows within a rift valley. By using a combination of sediment thickness measurements from high-resolution seismic data and accurate sedimentation rates obtained from 14C dating of sediment cores, we use sediment thicknesses as a proxy for the age of underlaying lava flows. Our age map reveals that as much as 50% of the lavas in the rift valley are younger than 25.000 years and no upper lava flows are older than 180.000 years that. These numbers indicate that ultraslow-spreading ridges are more volcanically productive, and that eruptions are more widely distributed, than previously suggested. We use our age model to estimate the volcanic renewal of the seafloor and document that axial volcanic ridges are robust volcanic systems that can be described like a living system with lava flow being born (erupted) and older flows dying off (covered in younger flows). The volcanic renewal of the seafloor has important implications for the lifetime of hydrothermal systems and the preservation of mineral deposits.

Read the article here.