Seismic Images of Active Magma Systems Beneath the East Pacific Rise Between 17°05' and 17°35'S

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Science  21 Apr 1995:
Vol. 268, Issue 5209, pp. 391-395
DOI: 10.1126/science.268.5209.391


Seismic reflection data from the East Pacific Rise between 17°05' and 17°35'S image a magma lens that varies regularly in depth and width as ridge morphology changes, confirming the notion that axial morphology can be used to infer ridge magmatic state. However, at 17°26'S, where the ridge is locally shallow and broad, the magma lens is markedly shallower and wider than predicted from regional trends. In this area, submersible dives reveal recent volcanic eruptions. These observations indicate that it is where the width and depth of the magma chamber differ from regional trends, indicating an enhanced magmatic budget, that is diagnostic of current magmatism.