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Crustal Accretion

Authors: Benoît Ildefonse,

Publish Date: 2016
Volume: , Issue:, Pages: 133-137
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Since the early 1970s, the classical model of a uniformly layered ocean crust, with from top to bottom basaltic lava flows, basaltic sheeted dikes, and gabbros, known as the “Penrose” model (Anonymous, 1972), has considerably evolved, with complementary contributions from ophiolite studies, seafloor geology, marine geophysics, and scientific ocean drilling. At the global scale, there is substantial variability of the mid-ocean ridge morphology and hence of crustal architecture. This results from various modes of accretion that are controlled by magma supply to the ridge, which itself primarily depends on the spreading rate. This article briefly describes the current end-member models for crustal accretion at fast-spreading (>~80 mm/year) and slow-spreading (



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