Vykjanes Ridge

Better Essays
The Reykjanes Ridge is a geologically complex ridge. It is a part of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge and is marked by the inclusion of an axial high, axial volcanic ridges, and v-shaped ridges. These are not typical inclusions in the setting of a slow-spreading ridge. Most reports suggest that the reason behind the unique character of the Reykjanes Ridge is because of the mantle plume beneath Iceland. As the plume and ridge interact, there are various geological effects, including the thickening of the crust. This thickening of the crust creates the axial high on which axial volcanic ridges are situated. The involvement of the mantle plume with the ridge system is also a possible method in which v-shaped ridges are produced. However, it is more probable…show more content…
This volcanism is generally attributed to the fact that the island sits directly on top of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. The Mid-Atlantic Ridge is a divergent plate boundary and it separates the Eurasian and North American Plates. This can be seen in Figure 1. The portion of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge of importance in this paper is seen in the red box in Figure 1. This is known as the Reykjanes Ridge. This ridge includes some of the Southwest portion of Iceland, but mostly deals with the portion of the ridge leading up to Iceland. It is defined as being between Iceland and the Bight Transform Fault near 57°N (Benediktsdóttir et al., 2012). This fault has a fracture zone that extends into crust at least 36 million years old (Reykjanes Ridge Expedition). The Reykjanes Ridge is a slow spreading ridge, with an average spreading rate of about 20 mm/year, and on average trends about 036° with a spreading direction of about 099°. This makes an average spreading obliquity of 28° (Höskuldsson et al., 2007; Searle et al., 1998). The Reykjanes Ridge is the longest oblique spreading ridge in the…show more content…
This ridge lacks and observable transform faults or major (non-transform) lateral offsets of the most recent volcanic centers. The Reykjanes Ridge is instead composed of individual axial volcanic ridges (Höskuldsson et al., 2007). The AVRs form in the axial zones of the ridge and are typically en-echelon in shape. In order to be considered an AVR, the feature must be at least 100 meters above the seafloor, and they are typically between 3 and 15km wide and 5 and 35 km in length (Höskuldsson et al., 2007). AVRs form perpendicular to the spreading direction of the ridge and oblique to the overall orientation of the Reykjanes Ridge (Benediktsdóttir et al., 2012). It is believed that most of the volcanic activity that takes place along the Reykjanes Ridge can be confined to the axial volcanic ridges. The size of an AVR has been suggested to be linked to the strength of the lithosphere (Höskuldsson et al., 2007). According to this, large AVRs would have very strong lithospheres, and small AVRs would have weaker
Get Access