There are two processes, ridge-push and slab-pull, thought to be responsible for the spreading seen at mid-ocean ridges, and there is some uncertainty as to which is dominant. Ridge-push occurs when the weight of the ridge pushes the rest of the tectonic plate away from the ridge, often towards a subduction zone.
This is simply the weight of the tectonic plate being subducted pulled below the overlying plate dragging the rest of the plate along behind it. The other process proposed to contribute to the formation of new oceanic crust at mid-ocean ridges is the "mantle conveyor" see image. However, there have been some studies which have shown that the upper mantle asthenosphere is too plastic flexible to generate enough friction to pull the tectonic plate along.
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At the subduction zone, "slab-pull" comes into effect. Related Stories. New research, however, shows plate dynamics are Specifically, it contributes to understanding how By applying a new analysis method, an international team of researchers has now discovered that the water can penetrate Seismic attenuation tomography of the Mariana subduction system: implications for thermal structure, volatile distribution, and slow spreading dynamics.
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Modeling the seismic signature of structural data from the Oman Ophiolite: Can a mantle diapir be detected beneath the East Pacific Rise? Dunn , Douglas R. Kelemen , W. Steven Holbrook. References Publications referenced by this paper.
Geophysical Constraints on Mantle Flow and Melt Generation Beneath Mid-Ocean Ridges
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Oceanic crustal thickness from seismic measurements and rare earth element inversions Robert S White , Doris Mckenzie , R. Oceanic crustal thickness versus spreading rate Yongshun John Chen.
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