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Extensional Tectonics and Global Volcanism Javier Favela and Don L. Anderson

Summary: Extensional Tectonics and Global Volcanism
Javier Favela and Don L. Anderson
Seismological Laboratory 252-21
California Institute of Technology
Pasadena, CA 91125 U.S.A.
phone number: +1 626.395.6974
email address: javier@gps.caltech.edu
Submitted 12 November, 1999
Erice, Italy - Conference Proceedings
Most of the world's hotspots occur on or near plate boundaries. Proposed `hotspot
tracks' are primarily along pre-existing linear features, and volcanism is controlled by
extensional stress. These linear features are transform faults, fracture zones and abandoned
ridges. Almost half of the `midplate' volcanoes occur on young (<30 My) lithosphere. The
correlations of volcanoes with seafloor age, topography, fracture zones, gravity and focal
mechanisms show that tensional tectonics is essential for volcanism, supporting the hypothesis
that volcanism is controlled by lithospheric architecture and stress, not by hot narrow jets. Non-
thermal explanations for focused magmatism are consistent with absence of heat flow, uplift and
subsidence anomalies. Extensional stresses and lithospheric fabric are the controlling influences


Source: Anderson, Don L. - Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences, California Institute of Technology


Collections: Geosciences