Propagating rift model for the V-shaped ridges south of Iceland

Richard Hey, Fernando Martinez, Ármann Höskuldsson, Ásdís Benediktsdóttir

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Citations (Scopus)


We present new marine geophysical data which constrain the seafloor spreading history of the Reykjanes Ridge near Iceland and the origin of its flanking V-shaped topographic and gravity ridges. Contrary to the geometry assumed in pulsing plume models, the V-shaped ridges are not symmetric about the Reykjanes Ridge axis, and seafloor spreading has not been symmetric about a stable axis. Thus, existing models must at least be modified to include an additional asymmetry-producing mechanism; the best understood and documented such mechanism is rift propagation. One possibility is that plume pulses drive the propagators. However, rift propagation also produces V-shaped wakes with crustal thickness variations, suggesting the possibility that a pulsing Iceland plume might not be necessary to explain the Reykjanes V-shaped ridges, scarps, and troughs.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberQ03011
JournalGeochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2010

Other keywords

  • Hot spot
  • Iceland
  • Mantle plume
  • Propagating rifts
  • Reykjanes Ridge
  • Seafloor spreading


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