Mid-Ocean Ridge Magma Chambers

Full waveform inversion was performed on multi-channel seismic reflection data collected along the northern and southern East Pacific Rise. The accurate velocity structure obtained confirmed the presence of a thin (<50 m thick) molten sill beneath the ridge axis. Along axis variations of the molten state of the magma on a few-tens of kilometre scale were detected. These results help our understanding of how melt is delivered from the mantle, the eruption history of mid-ocean ridges and the process of oceanic crustal accretion.

Magma chambersCartoon of along-axis segmentation of magma chamber beneath the southern East Pacific Rise (above) from partial-aperture stacks of large-offset seismic reflection data (below). 
(From Singh et al., 1998)

This research was completed under the BRIDGE programme of NERC


  • "Melt to mush variations in crustal magma properties along the ridge crest at the southern East Pacific Rise" (1998) S.C. Singh, G.M. Kent, J S Collier, A.J. Harding, J.A. Orcutt.  Nature,  Vol.394, No.6696, pp.874-878 PDF
  • "Detailed structure of the top of the melt body beneath the East Pacific Rise at 9 40´N from waveform inversion of seismic reflection data" (1997) J S Collier, S.C. Singh.  J. Geophys. Res., 1997, Vol.102, No.B9, pp.20287-20304 PDF
  • "A seismic inversion study of the axial magma chamber reflector beneath the East Pacific Rise near 10 degrees N" (1998) Collier, J. S. and S. C. Singh . Modern Ocean Floor Processes and the Geological Record. R. Mills and K. Harrison, Geol Soc. Lond. Special Publication. 148: 17-28. PDF

Associated Personnel


Satish Singh (IPG,Paris)