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Sediment Characterization at the Equatorial Mid-Atlantic Ridge From P-to-S Teleseismic Phase Conversions Recorded on the PI-LAB Experiment

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)12244-12252
Number of pages9
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Issue number22
Early online date23 Nov 2018
DateAccepted/In press - 2 Nov 2018
DateE-pub ahead of print - 23 Nov 2018
DatePublished (current) - 28 Nov 2018


Accurate marine sediment characteristics, for example, thickness and seismic velocity, are important for constraining sedimentation rates with implications for climate variations and for seismic imaging of deeper structures using ocean bottom seismic deployments. We analyze P-to-S seismic phase conversions from the sediment-crust boundary recorded by the Passive Imaging of the Lithosphere-Asthenosphere Boundary (PI-LAB) experiment to infer the sediment thickness across the Mid-Atlantic Ridge covering 0- to 80-Myr-old seafloor. We find Pds-P delay times of 0.04–0.37 s, or 5- to 82-m thickness. Sediment thickness increases with age. Thickness agrees with global estimates for young (<15–20 Myr) seafloor but is thinner on older lithosphere. Our result may represent a lower limit on sediment thickness, given that several of our stations are on topographic highs. The sedimentation rate decrease observed from 5 to 1.2 mm/kyr at ∼10 Myr suggests a recent increase in productivity related to climate change, eolian dust fluxes, and/or biogenic marine activity.

    Research areas

  • PI-LAB, sediments, equatorial Mid-Atlantic Ridge

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