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Plate boundary reorganization at a large-offset, rapidly propagating rift

Hey, R.N., Johnson, P.D., Martinez, F., Korenaga, J., Somers, M.L., Huggett, Q.J., Le Bas, T.P., Rusby, R.I. and Naar, D.F. (1995) Plate boundary reorganization at a large-offset, rapidly propagating rift Nature, 378, (6553), pp. 167-170. (doi:10.1038/378167a0).

Record type: Article


THE existence of rapidly spinning microplates along the southern East Pacific Rise has been documented by geophysical swath-mapping surveys1–6, and their evolution has been successfully described by an edge-driven kinematic model7. But the mechanism by which such microplates originate remains unknown. Proposed mechanisms1–10 have generally involved rift propagation11, possibly driven by hotspots or changes in direction of sea-floor spreading. Here we present geophysical data collected over the Earth's fastest spreading centre, the Pacific–Nazca ridge between the Easter and Juan Fernandez microplates (Fig. 1), which reveal a large-offset propagating rift presently reorganizing the plate boundary geometry. A recent episode of rapid 'duelling' propagation of the historically failing spreading centre in this system has created a 120 120 km overlap zone between dual active spreading centres, which may be the initial stage of formation of a new microplate.

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Published date: 9 November 1995


Local EPrints ID: 50829
ISSN: 0028-0836
PURE UUID: 202ac9e1-0031-43c1-bc6f-c29b1655982c

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Date deposited: 02 Apr 2008
Last modified: 17 Jul 2017 14:50

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Author: R.N. Hey
Author: P.D. Johnson
Author: F. Martinez
Author: J. Korenaga
Author: M.L. Somers
Author: Q.J. Huggett
Author: T.P. Le Bas
Author: R.I. Rusby
Author: D.F. Naar

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