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Volume 25 Issue 01

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Volume 25, No. 1
Pages 18 - 43


The East Pacific Rise Between 9°N and 10°N: Twenty-Five Years of Integrated, Multidisciplinary Oceanic Spreading Center Studies

By Daniel J. Fornari , Karen L. Von Damm (deceased) , Julia G. Bryce, James P. Cowen, Vicki Ferrini , Allison Fundis, Marvin D. Lilley, George W. Luther III , Lauren S. Mullineaux, Michael R. Perfit, M. Florencia Meana-Prado, Kenneth H. Rubin, William E. Seyfried Jr., Timothy M. Shank, S. Adam Soule , Maya Tolstoy , and Scott M. White  
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Article Abstract

The East Pacific Rise from ~ 9–10°N is an archetype for a fast-spreading mid-ocean ridge. In particular, the segment near 9°50’N has been the focus of multidisciplinary research for over two decades, making it one of the best-studied areas of the global ridge system. It is also one of only two sites along the global ridge where two historical volcanic eruptions have been observed. This volcanically active segment has thus offered unparalleled opportunities to investigate a range of complex interactions among magmatic, volcanic, hydrothermal, and biological processes associated with crustal accretion over a full magmatic cycle. At this 9°50’N site, comprehensive physical oceanographic measurements and modeling have also shed light on linkages between hydrodynamic transport of larvae and other materials and biological dynamics influenced by magmatic processes. Integrated results of high-resolution mapping, and both in situ and laboratory-based geophysical, oceanographic, geochemical, and biological observations and sampling, reveal how magmatic events perturb the hydrothermal system and the biological communities it hosts.


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