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Determining Mid-Ocean Ridge Geography from Upper Mantle Temperature
  • Xiyuan Bao,
  • Tushar Mittal,
  • Carolina Lithgow-Bertelloni
Xiyuan Bao
University of California, Los Angeles

Corresponding Author:xiyuanbao@g.ucla.edu

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Tushar Mittal
Pennsylvania State University
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Carolina Lithgow-Bertelloni
University of California, Los Angeles
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In this study, we examine the influence of the mantle and large-scale tectonics on the global mid-ocean ridge (MOR) system. Using solely seismically-inferred upper mantle temperatures below the melting zone (260-600 km) and an interpretable machine learning model (Random Forest and Principal Component Analysis), we predict, with up to 90\% accuracy, the basin of origin of ridge segments without any prior geographic information. Two features provide $>$50\% of the discriminative power: the temperature difference between the mid-layer (340-500 km) and other depths, and the depth-averaged temperature. Our result implies that the large-scale geophysical and geochemical differences observed along the MOR system are reflective, not primarily of shallow processes associated with melting, but of long-term tectonic and convective processes in the mantle that determine the present-day upper mantle temperature structure.
14 Mar 2023Submitted to ESS Open Archive
16 Mar 2023Published in ESS Open Archive