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date: 19 September 2021

p. 363. Fracture zones and transform faultslocked

p. 363. Fracture zones and transform faultslocked

  • Peter Molnar


‘Fracture zones and transform faults’ introduces fracture zones, huge, long linear scars in the seafloor first mapped in the 1950s, and their interpretation in terms of a new concept, transform faulting. Fracture zones are made at mid-ocean ridges, where the seafloor spreads apart. Segments of zones of spreading intersect fracture zones at right angles, along which transform faulting transfers the spreading on one spreading zone to another. As the seafloor spreads, and plates move apart at mid-ocean ridges, fracture zones grow longer. Testing this idea relied on the study of earthquakes that occurred on the transform faults, using seismographs on distant continents. This chapter introduces readers to the pertinent seismological methods by which this was achieved.

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