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Magnetotelluric survey across the active spreading zone in Southwest Iceland

Magnetotelluric survey across the active spreading zone in Southwest Iceland

Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research 20(3-4): 253-265

The results of 10 magnetotelluric soundings, performed along a 110-km-long profile crossing the constructive plate boundary in Southwest Iceland, are presented. Apparent resistivities are interpreted by a horizontally stratified Earth model to yield a pseudo cross-section along the profile. The crust-mantle interface contains a high-conductivity layer. The depth to the good conductor increases with age of the crust and the distance from the axial zone. This layer is interpreted as partially molten basalt, at a temperature about 1100 degrees C and a volume fraction of the melt phase in the range 10-20%. The high-conductivity layer probably disappears west of the Borgarnes anticlinal axis, which separates the older (to the west) and younger (to the east) flood basalts in western Iceland, indicating that the temperature below the oldest part of the profile lies below the solidus curve of basalt. Recent seismic crustal investigations in the same area indicate a state of partial melting or a magma chamber, which agrees with the results of the magnetotelluric soundings.--Modified journal abstract.

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Accession: 019361157

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DOI: 10.1016/0377-0273(84)90042-8

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