Hydrography above the Mid-Atlantic Ridge (33-40N) and within the Lucky Strike segment

Cara Wilson, Kevin Speer, Jean-Luc Charlou, Henri Bougault and Gary Klinkhammer

Journal of Geophysical Research, 100: 20,555-20,564, 1995


As part of the French-American Ridge Atlantic program the French-American ZAPS and Rocks (FAZAR) cruise conducted water column studies between 33 - 40N along the Mid-Atlantic Ridge (MAR) to detect hydrothermal activity and map its influence. This paper describes the large-scale hydrography within the axial valley, with particular emphasis on the hydrothermally active Lucky Strike segment (3717'N). The FAZAR study area is affected by the presence of the Azores Current and Mediterranean Water (MW). Although the MW core has been mapped as far north as 50N off the ridge, within the MAR the northern boundary of the MW exists as a strong front south of the Azores platform. This front is most likely caused by the shallower ridge crest becoming a physical barrier to the MW. The Lucky Strike segment lies within this front and, as a result, has complicated hydrography which can obscure hydrothermal temperature and salinity anomalies.

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