Paleocene on-spreading-axis hotspot volcanism along the Ninetyeast Ridge: An interaction between the Kerguelen hotspot and the Wharton spreading center
Gopala Rao, D.
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Investigations of three plausible tectonic settings of the Kerguelen hotspot relative to the Wharton spreading center evoke the on-spreading-axis hotspot volcanism of Paleocene (60-54 Ma) age along the Ninetyeast Ridge. The hypothesis is consistent with magnetic lineations and abondoned spreading centers of the eastern Indian Ocean and seismic structure and radiometric dates of the Ninetyeast Ridge. Furthermore, it is supported by the occurrence of oceanic andesites at Deep Sea Drilling Project (DSDP) Site 214, isotopically heterogeneous basalts at Ocean Drilling Program (ODP) Site 757 of approximately the same age (59-58 Ma) at both sites. Intermix basalts generated by plume-mid-ocean ridge (MOR) interaction, exist between 11 degrees and 17 degrees S along the Ninetyeast Ridge. A comparison of age profile along the Ninetyeast Ridge between ODP Sites 758 (82 Ma) and 756 (43 Ma) with similarly aged oceanic crust in the Central Indian Basin and Wharton Basin reveals the existence of extra oceanic crust spanning 11 degrees latitude beneath the Ninetyeast Ridge. The Ninetyeast Ridge was originated when the spreading centres of the Wharton Ridge were absolutely moving northward with respect to a relatively stationery Kerguelen hotspot with multiple southward ridge jumps. In the process, the spreading center coincided with the Kerguelen hotspot and took place on-spreading-axis volcanism along the Ninetyeast Ridge
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