Crustal Thickness on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge: Bull's-Eye Gravity Anomalies and Focused Accretion

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Science  29 Oct 1993:
Vol. 262, Issue 5134, pp. 726-729
DOI: 10.1126/science.262.5134.726


Spreading segments of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge show negative bull's-eye anomalies in the mantle Bouguer gravity field. Seismic refraction results from 33°S indicate that these anomalies can be accounted for by variations in crustal thickness along a segment. The crust is thicker in the center and thinner at the end of the spreading segment, and these changes are attributable to variations in the thickness of layer 3. The results show that accretion is focused at a slow-spreading ridge, that axial valley depth reflects the thickness of the underlying crust, and that along-axis density variations should be considered in the interpretation of gravity data.