Detachment Faults

Not by Fire but by Ice


Updated 2 August 06



Underwater volcanic activity in the Atlantic 
far stronger than anyone realized
(Guess what’s heating the oceans)


28 Jul 06 –– "For the first time, scientists have found regions of the earth's crust
which are stretching apart to form new sea floor. Their findings are published in
Nature (27 July). 

"Most new ocean floor is made when undersea volcanic activity splits the crust 
and molten rock fills the gaps. However some new ocean floor develops when
rock stretches along gently inclined tectonic faults called detachment faults.

"The new research suggests the significance of this stretching process as a way 
of creating new sea floor has been underestimated.

"It was possible to show that along 80 kilometres of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge all 
of the new crust along one side was being formed through a chain of linked
detachment faults each at a different stage of evolution, which was highly

"Co-author Deborah Smith, of Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, said: 
"The initial signs are that detachment faulting is far commoner along many hundreds
of kilometres of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge than anyone had supposed before."

"About 3 square kilometres of new ocean floor is created around the world every
 year. With sea floor comprising two thirds of the Earth's crust, this new work is
invaluable in helping us understand how the Earth's surface is formed.

This startling discovery was published today by Deborah Smith of Woods Hole
Oceanographic Institution, USA, Johnson Cann of the University of Leeds, UK
and Javier Escartin of Marine Geosciences Group, France.

Click here to see the full article:

Source:University of Leeds
Thanks to Jimmy Walter for this link




Order Book l E-Mail Robert l Q & A l Book Reviews l Plant Hardiness Zone Maps l Radio Interviews l Table of Contents l Excerpts l Author Photo l Pacemaker of the Ice Ages l Extent of Previous Glaciation l Crane Buried in Antarctic Ice Sheet l Ice Ages and Magnetic Reversals l Expanding Glaciers