Heat flow data during POLARSTERN cruise ARK-XVII/2, AMORE expedition to the Gakkel Ridge, with links to raw data files

The Gakkel Ridge in the Arctic Ocean with its adjacent Nansen and Amundsen Basins is a key region for the study of mantle melting and crustal generation at ultraslow spreading rates. We use free-air gravity anomalies in combination with seismic reflection and wide-angle data to compute 2-D crustal models for the Nansen and Amundsen Basins in the Arctic Ocean. Despite the permanent pack-ice cover two geophysical transects cross both entire basins. This means that the complete basin geometry of the world's slowest spreading system can be analysed in detail for the first time. Applying standard densities for the sediments and oceanic crystalline crust, the gravity models reveal an unexpected heterogeneous mantle with densities of 3.30 × 10³, 3.20 × 10³ and 3.10 × 10³ kg/m³ near the Gakkel Ridge. We interpret that the upper mantle heterogeneity mainly results from serpentinisation and thermal effects. The thickness of the oceanic crust is highly variable throughout both transects. Crustal thickness of less than 1 km dominates in the oldest parts of both basins, increasing to a maximum value of 6 km near the Gakkel Ridge. Along-axis heat flow is highly variable and heat flow amplitudes resemble those observed at fast or intermediate spreading ridges. Unexpectedly, high heat flow along the Amundsen transect exceeds predicted values from global cooling curves by more than 100%.

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CC BY 4.0