Spreading center segments that have experienced a complex tectonic history including rift propagation may have a complicated signature in bathymetric and magnetic anomaly data. To gain insight into the history of such regions, we have developed techniques in which both the magnetic anomaly patterns and seafloor fabric trends are predicted theoretically, and the combined predictions are compared numerically with the data to estimate best fitting parameters for the propagation history. Fitting functions are constructed to help determine which model best matches the digitized fabric and magnetic anomaly data. Such functions offer statistical criteria for choosing the best fit model. We use this approach to resolve the propagation history of the Cobb Offset along the Juan de Fuca ridge. In this example, the magnetic anomaly data prove more useful in defining the geometry of the propagation events, while the fabric, with its greater temporal resolution, is more useful for constraining the rate of propagation. It thus appears that joint inversion of magnetic and seafloor fabric data can be valuable in tectonic analyses.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)
- Geochemistry and Petrology
- Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)
- Environmental Science(all)