Potassium-Argon Ages and Spreading Rates on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge at 45° North

Science  27 Sep 1968:
Vol. 161, Issue 3848, pp. 1338-1339
DOI: 10.1126/science.161.3848.1338


Potassium-argon dates obtained from extrusives collected on a traverse across the Mid-Atlantic Ridge at 45°N are consistent with the hypothesis of ocean-floor spreading. The dates suggest a spreading rate in the range of 2.6 to 3.2 centimeters per year near the axis of the ridge; the rate agrees with that computed from fission-track dating of basalt glasses. Additional data for a basalt collected 62 kilometers west of the axis gives a spreading rate of 0.8 centimeter per year, which is similar to the rate inferred from magnetic anomaly patterns in the area. Reasons for the difference in calculated spreading rates are discussed.