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|An Open Access Experiment to Seismically Image Galapagos Plume-Ridge Interaction (Galapagos)
To produce the first mantle seismic view of how mantle plume-ridge interaction really works, an open-access seismic dataset will be collected around the Galapagos system. The experiment and subsequent analyses are designed to address three main scientific questions: (i) At what depths, in what geographic pattern, and by what mechanism does mantle plume material flow northward to the Galapagos Spreading Center and disperse along the ridge? (ii) Do the scale and nature of heterogeneity indicate small-scale, sub-lithospheric convection? and (iii) What is the spatial distribution of melting and volatile release, as well as the associated heterogeneity in composition and rheology due to plume-ridge interaction? The Galapagos system is exceptionally well-suited for such a study given the history of previous investigations of the surface manifestations, the evidence from mantle tomography below the Galapagos Archipelago, and the favorable azimuthal distribution of seismic sources. A large number (53) ocean-bottom, broadband seismometers will be deployed for 15 months in an array spanning the area between the Galapagos Islands and the Western Galapagos Spreading Center. Data from 7 broadband stations on the islands also will be used. The data will undergo initial processing, including ambient noise cross-correlation, and be archived in the IRIS-DMC for immediate public use. Tomography models of isotropic velocity will be produced from body waves, isotropic velocity from the combination of surface waves and ambient noise, as well as radial and azimuthal anisotropy from surface waves. Receiver functions will be analyzed to identify discontinuities related to the lithosphere and melting and shear wave splitting will be used to map anisotropy. Geodynamic models of plume-ridge interaction will be used for hypothesis testing by comparing modeled and observed seismic waveforms, and by using the geodynamic models as a priori information for the tomographic inversions. The project will also substantially advance a broad understanding of mantle plume processes, the asthenosphere, and their interactions with oceanic lithosphere; specifically, the deployment will function as a unit array within the Pacific Array Initiative.
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