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Takeuchi, CS, Sclater JG, Grindlay NR, Madsen JA, Rommevaux-Jestin C.  2010.  Segment-scale and intrasegment lithospheric thickness and melt variations near the Andrew Bain megatransform fault and Marion hot spot: Southwest Indian Ridge, 25.5 degrees E-35 degrees E. Geochemistry Geophysics Geosystems. 11   10.1029/2010gc003054   AbstractWebsite

We analyze bathymetric, gravimetric, and magnetic data collected on cruise KN145L16 between 25.5 degrees E and 35 degrees E on the ultraslow spreading Southwest Indian Ridge, where the 750 km long Andrew Bain transform domain separates two accretionary segments to the northeast from a single segment to the southwest. Similar along-axis asymmetries in seafloor texture, rift valley curvature, magnetic anomaly amplitude, magnetization intensity, and mantle Bouguer anomaly (MBA) amplitude within all three segments suggest that a single mechanism may produce variable intrasegment lithospheric thickness and melt delivery. However, closer analysis reveals that a single mechanism is unlikely. In the northeast, MBA lows, shallow axial depths, and large abyssal hills indicate that the Marion hot spot enhances the melt supply to the segments. We argue that along-axis asthenospheric flow from the hot spot, dammed by major transform faults, produces the inferred asymmetries in lithospheric thickness and melt delivery. In the southwest, strong rift valley curvature and nonvolcanic seafloor near the Andrew Bain transform fault indicate very thick subaxial lithosphere at the end of the single segment. We suggest that cold lithosphere adjacent to the eastern end of the ridge axis cools and thickens the subaxial lithosphere, suppresses melt production, and focuses melt to the west. This limits the amount of melt emplaced at shallow levels near the transform fault. Our analysis suggests that the Andrew Bain divides a high melt supply region to the northeast from an intermediate to low melt supply region to the southwest. Thus, this transform fault represents not only a major topographic feature but also a major melt supply boundary on the Southwest Indian Ridge.