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Age, spreading rates, and spreading asymmetry of the world's ocean crust

browse graphiccrustal ages
The authors present four companion digital models of the age, age uncertainty, spreading rates and spreading asymmetries of the world's ocean basins as geographic and Mercator grids with 2 minute resolution. The grids include data from all the major ocean basins as well as detailed reconstructions of back-arc basins. The age, spreading rate and asymmetry at each grid node is determined by linear interpolation between adjacent seafloor isochrons in the direction of spreading. Ages for ocean floor between the oldest identified magnetic anomalies and continental crust are interpolated by geological estimates of the ages of passive continental margin segments. The age uncertainties for grid cells coinciding with marine magnetic anomaly identifications, observed or rotated to their conjugate ridge flanks, are based on the difference between gridded age and observed age. The uncertainties are also a function of the distance of a given grid cell to the nearest age observation, and the proximity to fracture zones or other age discontinuities. Asymmetries in crustal accretion appear to be frequently related to asthenospheric flow from mantle plumes to spreading ridges, resulting in ridge jumps towards hotspots. The authors also use the new age grid to compute global residual basement depth grids from the difference between observed oceanic basement depth and predicted depth using two alternative age-depth relationships. The new set of grids helps to investigate prominent negative depth anomalies, which may be alternatively related to subducted slab material descending in the mantle or to asthenospheric flow. A combination of these digital grids and the associated relative and absolute plate motion model with seismic tomography and mantle convection model outputs represent a valuable set of tools to investigate geodynamic problems.

Cite as: Muller, R.D., M. Sdrolias, C. Gaina, and W.R. Roest 2008. Age, spreading rates and spreading symmetry of the world's ocean crust, Geochem. Geophys. Geosyst., 9, Q04006, doi:10.1029/2007GC001743.

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Distribution Formats
  • ASCII (Version: UTF-8)
Distributor Distributor information not available
No point of contact available for this dataset
General Documentation
  • R. Dietmar Muller
    School of Geosciences, University of Sydney, Australia
  • Maria Sdrolias
    EarthByte Group, School of Geosciences, University of Sydney, Australia
  • Carmen Gaina
    Center for Geodynamics, Geological Survey of Norway, Trondheim, Norway
  • Walter R. Roest
    Departement Geosciences Marines, Plouzane, France
  • EarthByte Group, School of Geosciences, University of Sydney, Australia
  • publication: 2008-12-31
  • revision: 2008-12-31
Edition: 1
Data Presentation Form: Digital table - digital representation of facts or figures systematically displayed, especially in columns
Dataset Progress Status ongoing
Data Update Frequency: Unknown  -  New versions may be archived in the future.
Supplemental Information: Data from this report are available online from NCEI, and also online from EarthByte Group, University of Sydney. Version 3 (posted 9/25/2008) contains the following changes: 1) Spreading asymmetry for crust without a present day conjugate is included in this version of the grid due to several requests received by the authors.2) Adjustment to the location of chron M25 in the westernmost Pacific (Pacific-Izanagi) and to the age assigned to the Pacific triangle.3) Minor COB modifications around back-arc basins to minimise over-interpolation artifacts from the adjacent subducting ocean floor.4) A gridding artifact in the Bay of Bengal, eastern India and in the southern Indian Ocean, east of the Enderby Basin was fixed.5) Inclusion of the Komandorsky Basin and Bering Sea, North Pacific.
Purpose: Scientific Research
Use Limitations
  • Produced by the NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information. Not subject to copyright protection within the United States.
Time Period: 2008-12-31  to  2008-12-31
Spatial Reference System:
Spatial Bounding Box Coordinates:
N: 90.0
S: -90.0
E: 180.0
W: -180.0
Spatial Coverage Map:
  • Scientific archives
  • Electronic records
  • Oceanography
  • Ocean bottom
  • Geology
  • Submarine geology
  • Marine geology
  • EARTH SCIENCE > OCEANS > Marine Geophysics > Marine Magnetics
  • EARTH SCIENCE > SOLID EARTH > Rocks/Minerals/Crystals > Age Determinations
  • EARTH SCIENCE > SOLID EARTH > Geomagnetism > Paleomagnetism
Data Centers
  • DOC/NOAA/NESDIS/NCEI > National Centers for Environmental Information, NESDIS, NOAA, U.S. Department of Commerce
  • DOC/NOAA/NESDIS/NGDC > National Geophysical Data Center, NESDIS, NOAA, U.S. Department of Commerce
  • In Situ Ocean-based Platforms > SHIPS
  • Unknown
  • Unknown
  • ICSU-WDS > International Council for Science - World Data System
Use Constraints
  • While every effort has been made to ensure that these data are accurate and reliable within the limits of the current state of the art, NOAA cannot assume liability for any damages caused by any errors or omissions in the data, nor as a result of the failure of the data to function on a particular system. NOAA makes no warranty, expressed or implied, nor does the fact of distribution constitute such a warranty.
Access Constraints
  • Access to this dataset is unrestricted.
Other Constraints Cite as: Muller, R.D., M. Sdrolias, C. Gaina, and W.R. Roest 2008. Age, spreading rates and spreading symmetry of the world's ocean crust, Geochem. Geophys. Geosyst., 9, Q04006, doi:10.1029/2007GC001743.
  • free online download
Source Datasets
Lineage Statement lineage prior to transfer to NCEI is unknown.
Processing Environment Native Dataset Environment: ASCII text

Metadata Last Modified: 2015-12-31

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