A Continuous 55 Million Year Record of Transient Mantle Plume Activity Beneath Iceland

Parnell-Turner, Ross and White, Nicky and Henstock, Tim and Murton, Bramley and Maclennan, John and Jones, Stephen M. (2014) A Continuous 55 Million Year Record of Transient Mantle Plume Activity Beneath Iceland. Nature Geoscience. ISSN 1752-0894 EISSN: 1752-0908

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Abstract

In the North Atlantic Ocean, a mid-oceanic ridge bisects the Icelandic mantle plume, providing a window into the temporal evolution of this major convective upwelling 1–3 . It is generally accepted that this plume’s transient behavior is indirectly recorded within the fabric of oceanic floor south of Iceland 4–7 . Despite its significance, the structure of this region is poorly known. Here, we present long seismic reflection profiles that traverse the oceanic basin between northwest Europe and Greenland. A diachronous pattern of V-shaped ridges is imaged beneath a thickening blanket of sediment, revealing a complete record of transient periodicity that can be traced continuously back to ∼ 55 Myrs— the longest record of its kind. This periodicity increases from ∼ 3 to ∼ 8 Myr with clear evidence for minor, but systematic, asymmetric crustal accretion. V-shaped ridges grow with time and reflect small (e.g. 5–30◦ C) fluctuations of mantle temperature, consistent with quasi-periodic generation of hot solitary waves triggered by growth of thermal boundary layer instabilities within the mantle . Our continuous record of convective activity predicts a history of regional elevation change which moderated overflow of the Neogene precursor of North Atlantic Deep Water and which controlled the growth and decay of multiple Paleogene buried landscapes.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: 2014AREP; IA68;
Subjects: 02 - Geodynamics, Geophysics and Tectonics
Divisions: 02 - Geodynamics, Geophysics and Tectonics
08 - Green Open Access
Journal or Publication Title: Nature Geoscience
Depositing User: Sarah Humbert
Date Deposited: 15 Sep 2014 11:34
Last Modified: 17 Apr 2015 12:09
URI: http://eprints.esc.cam.ac.uk/id/eprint/3118

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