Mantle domain and segmentation at the Australian-Antarctic Ridge

Friday, 19 December 2014
Sung-hyun Park1, Charles H Langmuir2, Jian Lin3, Seungsep Kim4, Doshik Hahm1, Peter J Michael5, Sean R Scott6 and Kenneth W W Sims6, (1)KOPRI Korea Polar Research Institute, Incheon, South Korea, (2)Harvard Univ, Cambridge, MA, United States, (3)Woods Hole Oceanographic Inst, Woods Hole, MA, United States, (4)Chungnam National University, Daejeon, South Korea, (5)University of Tulsa, Tulsa, OK, United States, (6)University of Wyoming, Laramie, WY, United States
The Australian-Antarctic ridge (AAR) is the largest unexplored expanse of the global mid-ocean ridges. Using the Korean Icebreaker Araon, we carried out a multi-disciplinary study of two segments (KR1 and KR2) of intermediate spreading AAR in three expeditions from 2011 to 2013. KR1, a 300-km-long supersegment located in the center of AAR, has large transform faults at its two ends, only small 3rd and 4th order offsets between the transforms, and no overlapping spreading centers. Nonetheless there are large variations in axial morphology from axial high to rift valley, as well as large changes in chemical and Pb isotopic composition. The KR2 segment is located about 200 km northwest of KR1 and connected to it by the Balleny transform. KR2 is a 180 km-long 1st order segment bounded by two transforms and consists of a western segment with axial high and an eastern segment with rift valley. Along-axis geochemical variations indicate that the magma flux and ridge morphology of are influenced by changing mantle composition on a fine scale, and thus magma transport to the crust must occur at multiple locations along this single segment. Both the KR1 and KR2 segments are on the Pacific side of the Australian-Antarctic-Discordance, long considered as the boundary between Pacific and Indian mantle. However, isotopic and trace elements data of these segments differ from samples from the Pacific-Antarctic Ridge, so flow of Pacific mantle into Indian mantle bounded by the Australian-Antarctic-Discordance is no longer supported.