The Icelandic Transverse Ridge – Evidence of Evolution of a Mantle Hot Spot

  1. Charles L. Drake
  1. Martin H.P. Bott

Published Online: 21 MAR 2013

DOI: 10.1029/SP005p0150

Geodynamics: Progress and Prospects

Geodynamics: Progress and Prospects

How to Cite

Bott, M. H.P. (1976) The Icelandic Transverse Ridge – Evidence of Evolution of a Mantle Hot Spot, in Geodynamics: Progress and Prospects (ed C. L. Drake), American Geophysical Union, Washington, D. C.. doi: 10.1029/SP005p0150

Author Information

  1. Department of Geological Sciences, University of Durham, England

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 21 MAR 2013
  2. Published Print: 1 JAN 1976

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9780875902036

Online ISBN: 9781118664902



  • Aseismic ridge systems;
  • Hot spot theory;
  • Icelandic transverse ridge;
  • Icelandic type crust;
  • Mantle plume hypothesis;
  • Mechanism of continental break-up


The aseismic Icelandic transverse ridge joins continentalregions extensively affected by early Tertiary volcanism broadlycontemporaneous with the break-up. Along the ridge crustal thicknessvaries between 8 – 16 km (Iceland Block) and 30 km (Iceland-Faeroe Ridge).This anomalous crust is believed to be oceanic in origin, developed overthe last 60 My as Greenland and North Europe separated, first forming theIceland-Faeroe Ridge and then the Iceland Block.The preliminary continentalvolcanism and the strong crustal differentiation may be attributedto a hot underlying upper mantle (hot spot) commencing about 60 My ago.The ridge structure reveals the history of the hot spot, particularly itsapparent weakening and broadening over the last Jf5 My. The hot spot hasbeen attributed to a mantle plume, and to a convective overturn in themantle, the latter hypothesis being preferred by the author. Dyke intrusionfrom the newly developed magma saturated asthenosphere may have initiatedcontinental splitting.