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Type: Journal article
Title: Hawaiian hot-spot swell structure from seafloor MT sounding
Author: Constable, S.
Heinson, G.
Citation: Tectonophysics, 2004; 389(1-2):111-124
Publisher: Elsevier Science BV
Issue Date: 2004
ISSN: 0040-1951
Statement of
Steven Constable and Graham Heinson
Abstract: Seafloor magnetotelluric (MT) data were collected at seven sites across the Hawaiian hot spot swell, spread approximately evenly between 120 and 800 km southwest of the Hawaiian-Emperor island chain. All data are consistent with an electrical strike direction of 300°, aligned along the seamount chain, and are well fit using two-dimensional (2D) inversion. The major features of the 2D electrical model are a resistive lithosphere underlain by a conductive lower mantle, and a narrow, conductive, 'plume' connecting the surface of the islands to the lower mantle. This plume is required; without it the swell bathymetry produces a large divergence of the along-strike and across-strike components of the MT fields, which is not seen in the data. The plume radius appears to be less than 100 km, and its resistivity of around 10 Ωm, extending to a depth of 150 km, is consistent with a bulk melt fraction of 5-10%. A seismic low velocity region (LVR) observed by Laske et al. [Laske, G., Phipp Morgan, J., Orcutt, J.A., 1999. First results from the Hawaiian SWELL experiment, Geophys. Res. Lett. 26, 3397-3400] at depths centered around 60 km and extending 300 km from the islands is not reflected in our inverse model, which extends high lithospheric resistivities to the edge of the conductive plume. Forward modeling shows that resistivities in the seismic LVR can be lowered at most to 30 Ωm, suggesting a maximum of 1% connected melt and probably less. However, a model of hot subsolidus lithosphere of 102 Ωm (1450-1500 °C) within the seismic LVR increasing to an off-swell resistivity of >103 Ωm (<1300 °C) fits the MT data adequately and is also consistent with the 5% drop in seismic velocities within the LVR. This suggests a 'hot, dry lithosphere' model of thermal rejuvination, or possibly underplated lithosphere depleted in volatiles due to melt extraction, either of which is derived from a relatively narrow mantle plume source of about 100 km radius. A simple thermal buoyancy calculation shows that the temperature structure implied by the electrical and seismic measurements is in quantitative agreement with the swell bathymetry. © 2004 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Keywords: Plumes
Seafloor conductivity
Hawaii swell
Description: Copyright © 2004 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
DOI: 10.1016/j.tecto.2004.07.060
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