Ocean Core Complexes – Hypotheses
The scientists have several ideas about what may be causing Ocean Core Complexes. They are hoping with the research gained on this expedition to have a better understanding of the formation of these structures. They are large domed ‘hills’ on the sea floor about the size of Ben Nevis with striations (grooves) clearly visible from top to bottom. Most scientists agree that these grooved surfaces are faults, where lots of small amounts of motion over time has built up the ocean core complex “hills” we see today. Scientists call the faults here “detachment faults”.
There are lots of oceanic core complexes in this area, and scientists still don’t know how they relate to each other.
The two main ideas are as follows:
Hypothesis A: separate detachment faults – formed by the same process but at different times/space
Hypothesis B: The detachment faults are linked to each other forming at the same time/space.
The scientists are using 3D mapping, seismic reflection and microseismicity to have further understanding of the Ocean Core Complexes. This is with Autosub. Ocean Bottom Seismics and Mutli Channel Reflection Seismics (the streamer).
Professor Roger Searle and I had fabulous Q and A session with my students at Aquinas College. Please do get in touch if you would like to arrange chat with your school:
A request for a picture of me that proves I’m actually at sea and not in an office somewhere :
Nigel strutting around the deck:
The ocean – this was my view as I had coffee on the deck this afternoon:
The back deck at night – panorama taken by Dean.