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Topography-Based Tectonic Analysis for Magma Migration -

Project Full Title:

HOPE STUDENTS - Topography-Based Tectonic Analysis for Magma Migration Under the Southern Mid-Atlantic Ridge

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Project Description:

This interdisciplinary project will incorporate the disciplines of geology, physics, and geography. However the project is specifically housed within the Hope College Department of Geological and Environmental Sciences. The project will examine tectonic forces at work to produce the observed morphology of the southern Mid-Atlantic Ridge (MAR) system to a latitude of 60° S. These forces include volcanic upwelling contributing to the growth of oceanic crust during divergence as well as associated magma movement and emplacement at depth. In conjunction with the igneous activity, tectonic forces are also represented in normal and shear stresses that manifest as brittle deformation along normal and strike-slip faults respectively. Bathymetric data and products can be downloaded from the General Bathymetric Chart of the Oceans data set and processed using Arc Pro GIS methods to evaluate patterns in the large-scale geologic structures resulting from brittle deformation. Locations for ridge and transform segments of these geologic structures may be determined from the bathymetry data along with cross-sectional analyses for rift valleys. Points along first-order and second-order ridge segments will be evaluated for average ocean depth used in lithostatic load calculations in the crust and upper mantle at 10 km, 50 km, and 200 km depths. These lithostatic loads then become the field of pressure differential acting on magma at depth. Horizontal magma migration can then be modeled using Darcy’s law for fluid flow along with published effective porosity and viscosity values based on temperature and pressure relationships within the melting prism. Finally, the effects of tidal drag, Coriolis shearing, and westward drift will be considered as additional forces contributing to the observed morphology. Dates are subject to change.

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