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Gravity anomalies over inactive fracture zones in the central North Atlantic


The basement topography and the free-air gravity along two profiles in the central North Atlantic between 16° and 25° N, crossing a number of fracture zones, were divided in three wavelength intervals. Two-dimensional modelling shows that the short wavelength (>50 km) gravity is well explained by uncompensated topography (mainly spreading topography). For the long wavelengths (>200 km) there is no correlation of topography and gravity. In principle this topography is compensated. Residual anomalies comprise the Ridge effect as well as regional anomalies related to depth anomalies. The 50 to 200km band-pass filtered topography and gravity contain relevant information on fracture zones. Models require a base of the crust that parallels the topography rather than a form of regional compensation. For an explanation of this crustal model that has the appearance of ‘frozen in’ normal faults we have to consider the typical morphology as created in the transform domain. The geophysical processes that cause this morphology are still an object of study.

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Mulder, T.F.A., Collette, B.J. Gravity anomalies over inactive fracture zones in the central North Atlantic. Mar Geophys Res 6, 383–394 (1984).

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  • Relevant Information
  • Short Wavelength
  • Normal Fault
  • Fracture Zone
  • Gravity Anomaly