In this study we estimate the statistical properties of abyssal hill morphology adjacent to the Southeast Indian Ridge in a region where the axial morphology changes from axial high to axial valley without a corresponding change in spreading rate. We explore the influence of axial morphology on abyssal hills and place these results within the context of response to spreading rate. Two cruises aboard the RN Melville collected Sea Beam 2000 multibeam data along the Southeast Indian Ridge, providing continuous multibeam coverage of the axis from degrees 89 degrees W to similar to 118 degrees W, and similar to 100% coverage within four survey regions extending out to similar to 45 km (similar to 1.2 Ma) from the axis [Semptre' et al., 1997; Cochran et al., 1997]. We apply the statistical modeling method of Goff and Jordan  to gridded data from the four survey areas, examining in particular estimates of abyssal hill rms height, characteristic width and length, aspect ratio, and skewness. Two analyses are performed: (1) comparison of the along-axis variation in abyssal hill characteristics to ridge segmentation, and (2) a calculation of population statistics within axial high, intermediate, and axial valley data populations of this study, and comparison of these results to population statistics derived from studies adjacent to the Mid-Atlantic Ridge and East Pacific Rise. We find that abyssal hills generated along axial high mid-ocean ridges are very different from those generated along axial valley mid-ocean ridges, not only with respect to size and shape, but also in their response to such factors as spreading rate and segmentation.
Xj831Times Cited:15Cited References Count:44