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The initiation of segmented buoyancy-driven melting during continental breakup

Gallacher, RJ; Keir, D; Harmon, N; Stuart, G; Leroy, S; Hammond, JOS; Kendall, JM; ... Ahmed, A; + view all (2016) The initiation of segmented buoyancy-driven melting during continental breakup. Nature Communications , 7 , Article 13110. 10.1038/ncomms13110. Green open access

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Abstract

Melting of the mantle during continental breakup leads to magmatic intrusion and volcanism, yet our understanding of the location and dominant mechanisms of melt generation in rifting environments is impeded by a paucity of direct observations of mantle melting. It is unclear when during the rifting process the segmented nature of magma supply typical of seafloor spreading initiates. Here, we use Rayleigh-wave tomography to construct a high-resolution absolute three-dimensional shear-wave velocity model of the upper 250 km beneath the Afar triple junction, imaging the mantle response during progressive continental breakup. Our model suggests melt production is highest and melting depths deepest early during continental breakup. Elevated melt production during continental rifting is likely due to localized thinning and melt focusing when the rift is narrow. In addition, we interpret segmented zones of melt supply beneath the rift, suggesting that buoyancy-driven active upwelling of the mantle initiates early during continental rifting.

Type: Article
Title: The initiation of segmented buoyancy-driven melting during continental breakup
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1038/ncomms13110
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/ncomms13110
Language: English
Additional information: This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in the credit line; if the material is not included under the Creative Commons license, users will need to obtain permission from the license holder to reproduce the material. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Maths and Physical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Maths and Physical Sciences > Dept of Earth Sciences
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10096387
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