Temperature-Dependent Newtonian Rheology in Advection-Convection Geodynamical Model for Plate Spreading in Eastern Volcanic Zone, Iceland


Geodynamic process as advection-convection of the Mid-Atlantic Ocean Ridge (MAR), that is exposed on land in Iceland is investigated. Advection is considered for the plate spreading velocity. Geodetic GPS data during 2000-2010 is used to estimate plate spreading velocity along a profile in the Eastern Volcanic Zone (EVZ), Iceland striking N102E, approximately parallel to the NUVEL-1A spreading direction between the Eurasian and North American plates. To predict subsurface mass flow patterns, temperature-dependent Newtonian rheology is considered in the finite-element models (FEM). All models are considered 2-D with steady-state, incompressible rheology whose viscosity depends on the subsurface temperature distribution. The thickness of lithosphere along the profile in the EVZ is identified by 700C isotherm and 1022 Pa s iso-viscosity, those reach 50 ± 3 km depth at distance of 100 km from rift axis. Geodetic observation and model prediction results show the ~90% of spreading is accommodated within ~45 km of the rift axis in each direction. Model predicts ~8.5 mm.yr-1 subsidence at the surface of rift center when magmatic plumbing is inactive. The rift center (the highest magmatic influx is ~11 mm.yr-1) in model shifts ~10 - 20 km west to generate observed style surface deformation. The spreading velocity, isotherm and depth of isotherm are the driving forces resulting in the surface deformation. These three parameters have more or less equal weight. However, as the center of deformation in the EVZ shifts and most of the subsidence takes place in the volcanic system that is currently the active which is the located of plate axis.

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Islam, M. and Sturkell, E. (2015) Temperature-Dependent Newtonian Rheology in Advection-Convection Geodynamical Model for Plate Spreading in Eastern Volcanic Zone, Iceland. Journal of Geoscience and Environment Protection, 3, 14-26. doi: 10.4236/gep.2015.35003.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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