The Center for Atmospheric Sciences | » APS Departmental Seminar–Jennifer Georgen (Old Dominion)

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  • APS Departmental Seminar–Jennifer Georgen (Old Dominion)

    Date/Time: November 5th (Wednesday) noon

    Where: Center for Atmospheric Sciences Class Room (Phenix 123)

    Speaker: Jennifer Georgen

    From: Old Dominion University

    Topic: Modeling Mantle Plumes at Tectonic Plate Boundaries: Implications for Oceanic Plateau Formation

    Abstract: Upwelling of mantle material along the Earth’s mid-ocean ridge system produces oceanic crust and creates an undersea volcanic mountain chain spanning approximately 60,000 km. Mantle plumes also contribute to global volcanic activity. In locations where mid-ocean ridges are located near mantle plumes, excess melting of mantle rock and crustal production can occur, resulting in thickened oceanic crust, broad regions of shallow seafloor, and a pronounced signature in the seafloor gravity field. This talk will present results from a series of three-dimensional finite element numerical models that calculate the dynamical interaction of a mantle plume and a triple junction. Defined as the point where three tectonic plates meet, triple junctions are locations of unique mantle convection patterns. Examples of triple junctions include Azores in the northern Atlantic Ocean, Rodrigues in the central Indian Ocean, and Galapagos in the eastern Pacific Ocean. The numerical models predict mantle flow and temperature fields, the spatial dispersion of mantle plume material, and seafloor bathymetry variation, all of which can be compared to observational data. Importantly, understanding the interactions between a mantle plume and an oceanic ridge-ridge-ridge triple junction may yield insight into the generation of large igneous plateaus, which are extensive areas of shallow bathymetry that can be the size of the state of Alaska or California.

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