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Imaging the Deep Seismic Structure Beneath a Mid-Ocean Ridge: The MELT Experiment

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Science  22 May 1998:
Vol. 280, Issue 5367, pp. 1215-1218
DOI: 10.1126/science.280.5367.1215

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Abstract

The Mantle Electromagnetic and Tomography (MELT) Experiment was designed to distinguish between competing models of magma generation beneath mid-ocean ridges. Seismological observations demonstrate that basaltic melt is present beneath the East Pacific Rise spreading center in a broad region several hundred kilometers across and extending to depths greater than 100 kilometers, not just in a narrow region of high melt concentration beneath the spreading center, as predicted by some models. The structure of the ridge system is strongly asymmetric: mantle densities and seismic velocities are lower and seismic anisotropy is stronger to the west of the rise axis.

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