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Sample records for oceanic crust

  1. The Oceanic Crust.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Francheteau, Jean

    1983-01-01

    The earth's oceanic crust is created and destroyed in a flow outward from midocean ridges to subduction zones, where it plunges back into the mantle. The nature and dynamics of the crust, instrumentation used in investigations of this earth feature, and research efforts/findings are discussed. (JN)

  2. Aleutian basin oceanic crust

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Christeson, Gail L.; Barth, Ginger A.

    2015-01-01

    We present two-dimensional P-wave velocity structure along two wide-angle ocean bottom seismometer profiles from the Aleutian basin in the Bering Sea. The basement here is commonly considered to be trapped oceanic crust, yet there is a change in orientation of magnetic lineations and gravity features within the basin that might reflect later processes. Line 1 extends ∼225 km from southwest to northeast, while Line 2 extends ∼225 km from northwest to southeast and crosses the observed change in magnetic lineation orientation. Velocities of the sediment layer increase from 2.0 km/s at the seafloor to 3.0–3.4 km/s just above basement, crustal velocities increase from 5.1–5.6 km/s at the top of basement to 7.0–7.1 km/s at the base of the crust, and upper mantle velocities are 8.1–8.2 km/s. Average sediment thickness is 3.8–3.9 km for both profiles. Crustal thickness varies from 6.2 to 9.6 km, with average thickness of 7.2 km on Line 1 and 8.8 km on Line 2. There is no clear change in crustal structure associated with a change in orientation of magnetic lineations and gravity features. The velocity structure is consistent with that of normal or thickened oceanic crust. The observed increase in crustal thickness from west to east is interpreted as reflecting an increase in melt supply during crustal formation.

  3. Permeability within basaltic oceanic crust

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fisher, Andrew T.

    1998-05-01

    Water-rock interactions within the seafloor are responsible for significant energy and solute fluxes between basaltic oceanic crust and the overlying ocean. Permeability is the primary hydrologic property controlling the form, intensity, and duration of seafloor fluid circulation, but after several decades of characterizing shallow oceanic basement, we are still learning how permeability is created and distributed and how it changes as the crust ages. Core-scale measurements of basaltic oceanic crust yield permeabilities that are quite low (generally 10-22 to 10-17 m²), while in situ measurements in boreholes suggest an overlapping range of values extending several orders of magnitude higher (10-18 to 10-13 m²). Additional indirect estimates include calculations made from borehole temperature and flow meter logs (10-16 to 10-11 m²), numerical models of coupled heat and fluid flow at the ridge crest and within ridge flanks (10-16 to 10-9 m²), and several other methods. Qualitative indications of permeability within the basaltic oceanic crust come from an improved understanding of crustal stratigraphy and patterns of alteration and tectonic modification seen in ophiolites, seafloor samples and boreholes. Difficulties in reconciling the wide range of estimated permeabilities arise from differences in experimental scale and critical assumptions regarding the nature and distribution of fluid flow. Many observations and experimental and modeling results are consistent with permeability varying with depth into basement and with primary basement lithology. Permeability also seems to be highly heterogeneous and anisotropic throughout much of the basaltic crust, as within crystalline rocks in general. A series of focused experiments is required to resolve permeability in shallow oceanic basement and to directly couple upper crustal hydrogeology to magmatic, tectonic, and geochemical crustal evolution.

  4. Oceanic crust deep seismic survey

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McBride, J. H.; White, R. S.

    In September 1991, the British Institutions Reflection Profiling Syndicate (BIRPS) collected 578 km of deep seismic reflection profiles over the oceanic crust beneath the Cape Verde abssyal plain in approximately 4900 m of water (Fig. 1). The survey, under the direction of J. H. McBride, was undertaken in response to a proposal made by R. S. White at the 1990 BIRPS open syndicate meeting in Birmingham, England, and was acquired using GECO-PRAKLA'S M/V Bin Hai 511. The survey consisted of two strike lines parallel to magnetic sea-floor lineations and nine orthogonal crossing lines oriented parallel to the spreading direction (Fig. 2). Adjacent lines are spaced at 4 km. For the first time, this provides the ability to map oceanic crust in “3D,” since the line spacing is less than or equal to the Fresnel-zone diameter for the lower crust.

  5. Drilling to gabbro in intact ocean crust.

    PubMed

    Wilson, Douglas S; Teagle, Damon A H; Alt, Jeffrey C; Banerjee, Neil R; Umino, Susumu; Miyashita, Sumio; Acton, Gary D; Anma, Ryo; Barr, Samantha R; Belghoul, Akram; Carlut, Julie; Christie, David M; Coggon, Rosalind M; Cooper, Kari M; Cordier, Carole; Crispini, Laura; Durand, Sedelia Rodriguez; Einaudi, Florence; Galli, Laura; Gao, Yongjun; Geldmacher, Jörg; Gilbert, Lisa A; Hayman, Nicholas W; Herrero-Bervera, Emilio; Hirano, Nobuo; Holter, Sara; Ingle, Stephanie; Jiang, Shijun; Kalberkamp, Ulrich; Kerneklian, Marcie; Koepke, Jürgen; Laverne, Christine; Vasquez, Haroldo L Lledo; Maclennan, John; Morgan, Sally; Neo, Natsuki; Nichols, Holly J; Park, Sung-Hyun; Reichow, Marc K; Sakuyama, Tetsuya; Sano, Takashi; Sandwell, Rachel; Scheibner, Birgit; Smith-Duque, Chris E; Swift, Stephen A; Tartarotti, Paola; Tikku, Anahita A; Tominaga, Masako; Veloso, Eugenio A; Yamasaki, Toru; Yamazaki, Shusaku; Ziegler, Christa

    2006-05-19

    Sampling an intact sequence of oceanic crust through lavas, dikes, and gabbros is necessary to advance the understanding of the formation and evolution of crust formed at mid-ocean ridges, but it has been an elusive goal of scientific ocean drilling for decades. Recent drilling in the eastern Pacific Ocean in Hole 1256D reached gabbro within seismic layer 2, 1157 meters into crust formed at a superfast spreading rate. The gabbros are the crystallized melt lenses that formed beneath a mid-ocean ridge. The depth at which gabbro was reached confirms predictions extrapolated from seismic experiments at modern mid-ocean ridges: Melt lenses occur at shallower depths at faster spreading rates. The gabbros intrude metamorphosed sheeted dikes and have compositions similar to the overlying lavas, precluding formation of the cumulate lower oceanic crust from melt lenses so far penetrated by Hole 1256D. PMID:16627698

  6. Partial melting of subducting oceanic crust

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Peacock, Simon M.; Rushmer, Tracy; Thompson, Alan Bruce

    1994-01-01

    The conditions under which partial melting of subducting oceanic crust occurs can be determined by combining a partial melting model for basaltic compositions with two-dimensional thermal models of subduction zones. For porosities of approximately 1% containing H2O the amount of partial melt generated at the wet basaltic solidus is limited to less than 5 vol%. At higher temperatures (approximately 1000 C at 1.5 GPa) large amounts of partial melt, up to 50 vol%, form by the breakdown of amphibole and the release of structurally bound H2O. In most subduction zones, substantial partial melting of subducting oceanic crust will only occur if high shear stresses (greater than approximately 100 MPa) can be maintained by rocks close to, or above, their melting temperatures. In the absence of high shear stresses, substantial melting of the oceanic crust will only occur during subduction of very young (less than 5 Ma) oceanic lithosphere. Partial melting of hydrated basalt (amphibolites) derived from the mid-ocean ridge has been proposed as being responsible for the generation of certain recent high-Al andesitic to dacitic volcanic rocks (adakites). Three of these volcanic suites (Mount St. Helens, southern Chile, and Panama) occur in volcanic arcs where oceanic crust less than 25 Ma is being subducted at rates of 1 - 3 cm/yr and the calculated thermal regime is several hundreds of degrees hotter than more typical subduction zone environments. However, oceanic lithosphere is not currently being subducted beneath Baja and New Guinea, where recent adakites are also present, suggesting that some adakite magmas may form by water-undersaturated partial melting of underplated mafic lower crust or previously subducted oceanic crust. Further experimental work on compositions representative of oceanic crust is required to define the depth of possible adakite source regions more accurately.

  7. Frozen magma lenses below the oceanic crust.

    PubMed

    Nedimović, Mladen R; Carbotte, Suzanne M; Harding, Alistair J; Detrick, Robert S; Canales, J Pablo; Diebold, John B; Kent, Graham M; Tischer, Michael; Babcock, Jeffrey M

    2005-08-25

    The Earth's oceanic crust crystallizes from magmatic systems generated at mid-ocean ridges. Whereas a single magma body residing within the mid-crust is thought to be responsible for the generation of the upper oceanic crust, it remains unclear if the lower crust is formed from the same magma body, or if it mainly crystallizes from magma lenses located at the base of the crust. Thermal modelling, tomography, compliance and wide-angle seismic studies, supported by geological evidence, suggest the presence of gabbroic-melt accumulations within the Moho transition zone in the vicinity of fast- to intermediate-spreading centres. Until now, however, no reflection images have been obtained of such a structure within the Moho transition zone. Here we show images of groups of Moho transition zone reflection events that resulted from the analysis of approximately 1,500 km of multichannel seismic data collected across the intermediate-spreading-rate Juan de Fuca ridge. From our observations we suggest that gabbro lenses and melt accumulations embedded within dunite or residual mantle peridotite are the most probable cause for the observed reflectivity, thus providing support for the hypothesis that the crust is generated from multiple magma bodies. PMID:16121179

  8. Oceanic Crust in the Canada Basin of the Arctic Ocean

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hutchinson, Deborah; Chian, Deping; Jackson, Ruth; Lebedeva-Ivanova, Nina; Shimeld, John; Li, Qingmou; Mosher, David; Saltus, Richard; Oakey, Gordon

    2015-04-01

    Crustal velocities from 85 expendable sonobuoys in the Canada Basin of the Arctic Ocean acquired between 2007 and 2011 distinguish oceanic, transitional, and extended continental crust. Crustal type was based on objective assignments of diagnostic velocities - oceanic from the presence of layer 3 velocities (6.7-7.2 km/s); transitional from the presence of a lower-most, high velocity layer (7.2-7.7 km/s), and continental for velocities typical of continental crust (≤6.6 km/s). Combined interpretations of sonobuoys, coincident multichannel seismic reflection profiles and existing maps of potential field (gravity and magnetic) are used to refine the distribution of oceanic crust. Oceanic crust forms a polygon approximately 320-350 km wide (east-west) by ~500 km (north-south). The northern segment of the Canada Basin Gravity Low (CBGL) bisects this zone of oceanic crust, as would be expected from the axis of the spreading center. The multichannel profiles also image a prominent bathymetric valley along this segment of the CBGL, similar to axial valleys found on slow and ultra-slow spreading ridges. Paired magnetic anomalies are associated only with crust that has typical oceanic velocities and are interpreted to represent possibly Mesozoic marine magnetic anomalies M0r - M4 (?), for a duration of opening of 8 million years, and a half spreading rate of ~10 mm/a. The southern segment of the CBGL, where it trends toward the Mackenzie Delta/fan, is associated with transitional velocities that are interpreted to represent serpentinized peridotite (mantle). As a result of being close to the inferred pole of rotation, this southern area may have had a spreading rate too low to support magmatism, producing amagmatic transitional crust. Further north, near Alpha Ridge and along Northwind Ridge, transitional crust is interpreted to be underplated or intruded material related to the emplacement of the High Arctic Large Igneous Province. Seismic reflection profiles across the

  9. Quantifying glassy and crystalline basalt partitioning in the oceanic crust

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Moore, Rachael; Ménez, Bénédicte

    2016-04-01

    The upper layers of the oceanic crust are predominately basaltic rock, some of which hosts microbial life. Current studies of microbial life within the ocean crust mainly focus on the sedimentary rock fraction, or those organisms found within glassy basalts while the potential habitability of crystalline basalts are poorly explored. Recently, there has been recognition that microbial life develops within fractures and grain boundaries of crystalline basalts, therefore estimations of total biomass within the oceanic crust may be largely under evaluated. A deeper understanding of the bulk composition and fractionation of rocks within the oceanic crust is required before more accurate estimations of biomass can be made. To augment our understanding of glassy and crystalline basalts within the oceanic crust we created two end-member models describing basalt fractionation: a pillow basalt with massive, or sheet, flows crust and a pillow basalt with sheeted dike crust. Using known measurements of massive flow thickness, dike thickness, chilled margin thickness, pillow lava size, and pillow lava glass thickness, we have calculated the percentage of glassy versus crystalline basalts within the oceanic crust for each model. These models aid our understanding of textural fractionation within the oceanic crust, and can be applied with bioenergetics models to better constrain deep biomass estimates.

  10. Microbial Life of North Pacific Oceanic Crust

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schumann, G.; Koos, R.; Manz, W.; Reitner, J.

    2003-12-01

    Information on the microbiology of the deep subsurface is necessary in order to understand the factors controlling the rate and extent of the microbially catalyzed reactions that influence the geophysical properties of these environments. Drilling into 45-Ma oceanic basaltic crust in a deepwater environment during ODP Leg 200 provided a promising opportunity to explore the abundance, diversity and activity of micro-organisms. The combined use of culture-independent molecular phylogenetic analyses and enrichment culture techniques is an advantageous approach in investigating subsurface microbial ecosystems. Enrichment culture methods allow the evaluation of potential activities and functions. Microbiological investigations revealed few aerobic cultivable, in part hitherto unknown, micro-organisms in deep submarine sediments and basaltic lava flows. 16S rDNA sequencing of isolates from sediment revealed the next relatives to be members of the genera Halomonas, Pseudomonas, and Lactobacillus. Within the Pseudomonadaceae the closest relative is Acinetobacter sp., which was isolated from a deep subsurface environment. The next phylogenetical relatives within the Halomonadaceae are bacteria typically isolated from Soda lakes, which are considered as model of early life conditions. Interestingly, not only sediment bacteria could be obtained in pure culture. Aerobic strains could also be successfully isolated from the massive tholeiitic basalt layer at a depth of 76.16 mbsf (46 m below the sediment/basement contact). These particular isolates are gram-positive with low G+C content of DNA, phylogenetically affiliated to the phylum Firmicutes. The closest neighbors are e.g. a marine Bacillus isolated from the Gulf of Mexico and a low G+C gram-positive bacterium, which belongs to the microbial flora in the deepest sea mud of the Mariana Trench, isolated from a depth of 10,897 m. Based on the similarity values, the isolates represent hitherto undescribed species of the deep

  11. Aging of oceanic crust at the Southern East Pacific Rise

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Weigel, W.; Grevemeyer, I.; Kaul, N.; Villinger, H.; Lüdmann, T.; Wong, H. K.

    The oceanic crust covers almost 57% of the Earth's surface and is created by seafloor spreading at mid-ocean ridges. Although crustal structure is similar everywhere, seismic experiments near spreading ridges indicate that seismic velocities in the top of the igneous crust are typically much lower than those in mature oceanic crust. While profound differences between juvenile and mature crust have long been recognized, little is known about the relationship between crustal aging and the properties of oceanic crust.German researchers from the Universities of Hamburg and Bremen explored seafloor created over the last 8 million years at the “super-fast” spreading East Pacific Rise south of the Garrett Fracture Zone (14-16°S) during a 52-day marine geophysical survey aboard the R/V Sonne. The seafloor in that area spreads at a rate of 150 mm/yr. The researchers studied age-dependent trends in the structure and properties of upper oceanic crust; this was the first study in nearly two decades to use an integrated approach to study variations and heat transfer in the upper crustal structure.

  12. Deep-ocean ferromanganese crusts and nodules

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hein, James R.; Koschinsky, Andrea

    2013-01-01

    Ferromanganese crusts and nodules may provide a future resource for a large variety of metals, including many that are essential for emerging high- and green-technology applications. A brief review of nodules and crusts provides a setting for a discussion on the latest (past 10 years) research related to the geochemistry of sequestration of metals from seawater. Special attention is given to cobalt, nickel, titanium, rare earth elements and yttrium, bismuth, platinum, tungsten, tantalum, hafnium, tellurium, molybdenum, niobium, zirconium, and lithium. Sequestration from seawater by sorption, surface oxidation, substitution, and precipitation of discrete phases is discussed. Mechanisms of metal enrichment reflect modes of formation of the crusts and nodules, such as hydrogenetic (from seawater), diagenetic (from porewaters), and mixed diagenetic–hydrogenetic processes.

  13. Generation of continental crust in intra-oceanic arcs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gazel, E.; Hayes, J. L.; Kelemen, P. B.; Everson, E. D.; Holbrook, W. S.; Vance, E.

    2014-12-01

    The origin of continental crust is still an unsolved mystery in the evolution of our planet. Although the best candidates to produce juvenile continental crust are intra-oceanic arcs these systems are dominated by basaltic lavas, and when silicic magmas are produced, the incompatible-element compositions are generally too depleted to be a good match for continental crust estimates. Others, such as the W. Aleutians, are dominated by andesitic melts with trace element compositions similar to average continental crust. In order to evaluate which intra-oceanic arcs produced modern continental crust, we developed a geochemical continental index (CI) through a statistical analysis that compared all available data from modern intra-oceanic arcs with global estimates of continental crust. Our results suggest that magmas from Costa Rica (<10 Ma) have a CI <50, closer to the CI (~20) computed from available average continental crust estimates. Transitional CI values of 50-100 were found in the Aleutians, the Iwo-Jima segment of Izu-Bonin, the L. Antilles, Panama, Nicaragua, and Vanuatu. The geochemical signature of the Costa Rican lavas is controlled by melts from the subducting Galapagos tracks. Iwo-Jima and Vanuatu are in a similar tectonic scenario with subducting intraplate seamounts. Melts from the subducting oceanic crust are thought to significantly control the geochemical signature in the W. Aleutians and Panama. In the L. Antilles and E. Aleutians the continental signature may reflect recycling of a component derived from subducting continental sediments. Most of Izu-Bonin, Marianas, S. Scotia and Tonga arcs with a CI >100 have the least continent-like geochemical signatures. In these arcs the subducting plate is old (>100 Ma), not overprinted by enriched intraplate volcanism and the geochemistry may be dominated by slab-derived, aqueous fluids. We also found a strong correlation between the CI and average crustal P-wave velocity, validating the geochemical index

  14. FERROMANGANESE CRUST RESOURCES IN THE PACIFIC AND ATLANTIC OCEANS.

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Commeau, R.F.; Clark, A.; Johnson, Chad; Manheim, F. T.; Aruscavage, P. J.; Lane, C.M.

    1984-01-01

    Ferromanganese crusts on raised areas of the ocean floor have joined abyssal manganese nodules and hydrothermal sulfides as potential marine resources. Significant volumes of cobalt-rich (about 1% Co) crusts have been identified to date within the US Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) in the Central Pacific: in the NW Hawaiian Ridge and Seamount region and in the seamounts in the Johnston Island and Palmyra Island regions. Large volumes of lower grade crusts, slabs, and nodules are also present in shallow ( greater than 1000 m) waters on the Blake plateau, off Florida-South Carolina in the Atlantic Ocean. Data on ferromanganese crusts have been increased by recent German and USGS cruises, but are still sparse, and other regions having crust potential are under current investigation. The authors discuss economic potentials for cobalt-rich crusts in the Central Pacific and Western North Atlantic oceans, with special reference to US EEZ areas. Additional research is needed before more quantitative resource estimates can be made.

  15. Bioalteration of basaltic glass in the oceanic crust

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Furnes, Harald; Staudigel, Hubert; Thorseth, Ingunn H.; Torsvik, Terje; Muehlenbachs, Karlis; Tumyr, Ole

    2001-08-01

    Bioalteration of Quaternary to Early Cretaceous basaltic glass from pillow lavas of the upper oceanic crust can be documented in Deep Sea Drilling Project/Ocean Drilling Program (DSDP/ODP) samples from shallow to deep drill holes from the north to central Atlantic Ocean, Lau Basin, and Costa Rica Rift, a wide range of marine settings. Biogenerated textures are rooted in fractures and occur as two main types, a granular type and a tubular type. The granular type, common at all depths within the volcanic pile, appears as solid bands, semicircles or irregular patches of individual and/or coalesced spherical bodies, mostly 0.2-0.6 μm in diameter, with irregular protrusions into the fresh glass. The tubular type is more common at deeper levels in the crust and consists of thin tubes, sometime branching bodies, mostly 20-30 μm long and are more common at deeper levels. The upper crust displays a large variability in the relative importance of biotic to abiotic alteration, and the degree of bioalteration appears to decrease with depth. Thus the fraction of bioalteration of the total alteration of the glass ranges from 20-90% in the upper 300 m down to a maximum of 10% at about 500 m depth. This might be due to a natural variability in the abundance of bioaltered glass or to biased sampling from low drilling recovery of relatively young crust. The proportion of bioaltered to abiotically altered glass does not show any systematic variations with age of the crust. Thus bioalteration lasts as long as abiotic alteration, i.e., for as long as water is available to the hydration of the oceanic crust. Evidence from heat flow measurements suggests that hydrothermal circulation lasts until at least ˜70 Ma, and thus the deep biosphere is likely to expand at least into crust of this age.

  16. Oceanic crust recycling and the formation of lower mantle heterogeneity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    van Keken, Peter E.; Ritsema, Jeroen; Haugland, Sam; Goes, Saskia; Kaneshima, Satoshi

    2016-04-01

    The Earth's lower mantle is heterogeneous at multiple scales as demonstrated for example by the degree-2 distribution of LLSVPs seen in global tomography and widespread distribution of small scale heterogeneity as seen in seismic scattering. The origin of this heterogeneity is generally attributed to leftovers from Earth's formation, the recycling of oceanic crust, or a combination thereof. Here we will explore the consequences of long-term oceanic crust extraction and recycling by plate tectonics. We use geodynamical models of mantle convection that simulate plates in an energetically consistent manner. The recycling of oceanic crust over the age of the Earth produces persistent lower mantle heterogeneity while the upper mantle tends to be significantly more homogeneous. We quantitatively compare the predicted heterogeneity to that of the present day Earth by tomographic filtering of the geodynamical models and comparison with S40RTS. We also predict the scattering characteristics from S-P conversions and compare these to global scattering observations. The geophysical comparison shows that lower mantle heterogeneity is likely dominated by long-term oceanic crust recycling. The models also demonstrate reasonable agreement with the geochemically observed spread between HIMU-EM1-DMM in ocean island basalts as well as the long-term gradual depletion of the upper mantle as observed in Lu-Hf systematics.

  17. The effect of thicker oceanic crust in the Archaean on the growth of continental crust through time

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wilks, M. E.

    1988-01-01

    Present crustal evolution models fail to account for the generation of the large volume of continental crust in the required time intervals. All Archaean plate tectonic models, whether invoking faster spreading rates, similar to today's spreading rates, or longer ridge lengths, essentially propose that continental crust has grown by island arc accretion due to the subduction of oceanic crust. The petrological differences that characterize the Archaean from later terrains result from the subduction of hotter oceanic crust into a hotter mantle. If the oceanic crust was appreciably thicker in the Archaean, as geothermal models would indicate, this thicker crust is surely going to have an effect on tectonic processes. A more valid approach is to compare the possible styles of convergence of thick oceanic crust with modern convergence zones. The best modern analog occurs where thick continental crust is colliding with thick continental crust. Oceanic crustal collision on the scale of the present-day Himalayan continental collision zone may have been a frequent occurrence in the Archaean, resulting in extensive partial melting of the hydrous underthrust oceanic crust to produce voluminous tonalite melts, leaving a depleted stabilized basic residuum. Present-day island arc accretion may not have been the dominant mechanism for the growth of the early Archaean crust.

  18. Primitive layered gabbros from fast-spreading lower oceanic crust.

    PubMed

    Gillis, Kathryn M; Snow, Jonathan E; Klaus, Adam; Abe, Natsue; Adrião, Alden B; Akizawa, Norikatsu; Ceuleneer, Georges; Cheadle, Michael J; Faak, Kathrin; Falloon, Trevor J; Friedman, Sarah A; Godard, Marguerite; Guerin, Gilles; Harigane, Yumiko; Horst, Andrew J; Hoshide, Takashi; Ildefonse, Benoit; Jean, Marlon M; John, Barbara E; Koepke, Juergen; Machi, Sumiaki; Maeda, Jinichiro; Marks, Naomi E; McCaig, Andrew M; Meyer, Romain; Morris, Antony; Nozaka, Toshio; Python, Marie; Saha, Abhishek; Wintsch, Robert P

    2014-01-01

    Three-quarters of the oceanic crust formed at fast-spreading ridges is composed of plutonic rocks whose mineral assemblages, textures and compositions record the history of melt transport and crystallization between the mantle and the sea floor. Despite the importance of these rocks, sampling them in situ is extremely challenging owing to the overlying dykes and lavas. This means that models for understanding the formation of the lower crust are based largely on geophysical studies and ancient analogues (ophiolites) that did not form at typical mid-ocean ridges. Here we describe cored intervals of primitive, modally layered gabbroic rocks from the lower plutonic crust formed at a fast-spreading ridge, sampled by the Integrated Ocean Drilling Program at the Hess Deep rift. Centimetre-scale, modally layered rocks, some of which have a strong layering-parallel foliation, confirm a long-held belief that such rocks are a key constituent of the lower oceanic crust formed at fast-spreading ridges. Geochemical analysis of these primitive lower plutonic rocks--in combination with previous geochemical data for shallow-level plutonic rocks, sheeted dykes and lavas--provides the most completely constrained estimate of the bulk composition of fast-spreading oceanic crust so far. Simple crystallization models using this bulk crustal composition as the parental melt accurately predict the bulk composition of both the lavas and the plutonic rocks. However, the recovered plutonic rocks show early crystallization of orthopyroxene, which is not predicted by current models of melt extraction from the mantle and mid-ocean-ridge basalt differentiation. The simplest explanation of this observation is that compositionally diverse melts are extracted from the mantle and partly crystallize before mixing to produce the more homogeneous magmas that erupt. PMID:24291793

  19. Anorthositic oceanic crust in the Archean Earth

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Jagoutz, E.; Dawson, J. B.; Hoernes, S.; Spettel, B.; Waenke, H.

    1985-01-01

    Ultrapure minerals separated from eclogite inclusions in kimberlites were analyzed for Sm, Nd, Sr, and oxygen isotopes and for major and trace elements. Clinopyroxene (cpx) and garnet (gnt) are the only primary mineral phases in these rocks, and mineral phases and their alteration products. The WR sub calc. is the reconstructed bulk composition excluding all the contamination influences. Two groups of eclogites: are distinguished: (1) type A Noritic-anorthositic eclogites; and (2) type B Ti-ferrogabbroic eclogites. The oxygen isotopes are primary mantle-derived features of these rocks and are not caused by posteruption processes, as they were measured on unaltered, clean mineral separates and show a correlation with REE pattern and Sr and Nd isotopes. It is suggested that the variation of the oxygen isotopes are caused by crustal-level fluid-rock interaction at relatively low temperature. It is shown that oxygen isotopes variation in MORB basalts caused by the hydrothermal system are in the same range as the observed oxygen isotope variation in eclogites. A model to explain the new set of data is proposed. It is thought that some of these eclogites might be emplaced into the upper lithosphere or lower crust at the time corresponding to their internal isochron age. The calculated WR composition was used to estimate model ages for these rocks.

  20. Continental crust beneath the Agulhas Plateau, Southwest Indian Ocean

    SciTech Connect

    Tucholke, B.E.; Houtz, R.E.; Barrett, D.M.

    1981-05-10

    The Agulhas Plateau lies 500 km off the Cape of Good Hope in the southwestern Indian Ocean. Acoustic basement beneath the northern one third of this large, aseismic structural high has rugged morphology, but basement in the south is anomalously smooth, excepting a 30- to 90-km-wide zone with irregular relief that trends south-southwest through the center of the plateau. Seismic refraction profiles across the southern plateau indicate that the zone of irregular acoustic basement overlies thickened oceanic crust and that continental crust, locally thinned and intruded by basalts, underlies several regions of smooth acoustic basement. Recovery of quartzo-feldspathic gneisses in dredge hauls confirms the presence of continental crust. The smoothness of acoustic basement probably results from erosion (perhaps initially subaerial) of topographic highs with depositions and cementation of debris in ponds to form high-velocity beds. Basalt flows and sills also may contribute locally to form smooth basement. The rugged basement of the northern plateau appears to be of oceanic origin. A plate reconstruction to the time of initial opening of the South Atlantic places the continental part of the southern plateau adjacent to the southern edge of the Falkland Plateau, and both abut the western Mozambique Ridge. Both the Agulhas and Falkland plateaus were displaced westward during initial rifting in the Early Cretaceous. Formation of an RRR triple junction at the northern edge of the Agulhas continental fragment during middle Cretaceous time may explain the origin of the rugged, thickened oceanic crust beneath plateau as well as the apparent extension of the continental crust and intrusion of basaltic magmas beneath the southern plateau.

  1. Magnetization of the oceanic crust: TRM or CRM?

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Raymond, C. A.; Labrecque, J. L.

    1987-01-01

    A model was proposed in which chemical remanent magnetization (CRM) acquired within the first 20 Ma of crustal evolution may account for 80% of the bulk natural remanent magnetization (NRM) of older basalts. The CRM of the crust is acquired as the original thermoremanent magnetization (TRM) is lost through low temperature alteration. The CRM intensity and direction are controlled by the post-emplacement polarity history. This model explains several independent observations concerning the magnetization of the oceanic crust. The model accounts for amplitude and skewness discrepancies observed in both the intermediate wavelength satellite field and the short wavelength sea surface magnetic anomaly pattern. It also explains the decay of magnetization away from the spreading axis, and the enhanced magnetization of the Cretaceous Quiet Zones while predicting other systematic variations with age in the bulk magnetization of the oceanic crust. The model also explains discrepancies in the anomaly skewness parameter observed for anomalies of Cretaceous age. Further studies indicate varying rates of TRM decay in very young crust which depicts the advance of low temperature alteration through the magnetized layer.

  2. Helium isotopes in ferromanganese crusts from the central Pacific Ocean

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Basu, S.; Stuart, F.M.; Klemm, V.; Korschinek, G.; Knie, K.; Hein, J.R.

    2006-01-01

    Helium isotopes have been measured in samples of two ferromanganese crusts (VA13/2 and CD29-2) from the central Pacific Ocean. With the exception of the deepest part of crust CD29-2 the data can be explained by a mixture of implanted solar- and galactic cosmic ray-produced (GCR) He, in extraterrestrial grains, and radiogenic He in wind-borne continental dust grains. 4He concentrations are invariant and require retention of less than 12% of the in situ He produced since crust formation. Loss has occurred by recoil and diffusion. High 4He in CD29-2 samples older than 42 Ma are correlated with phosphatization and can be explained by retention of up to 12% of the in situ-produced 4He. 3He/4He of VA13/2 samples varies from 18.5 to 1852 Ra due almost entirely to variation in the extraterrestrial He contribution. The highest 3He/4He is comparable to the highest values measured in interplanetary dust particles (IDPs) and micrometeorites (MMs). Helium concentrations are orders of magnitude lower than in oceanic sediments reflecting the low trapping efficiency for in-falling terrestrial and extraterrestrial grains of Fe-Mn crusts. The extraterrestrial 3He concentration of the crusts rules out whole, undegassed 4–40 μm diameter IDPs as the host. Instead it requires that the extraterrestrial He inventory is carried by numerous particles with significantly lower He concentrations, and occasional high concentration GCR-He-bearing particles.

  3. Primary carbonatite melt from deeply subducted oceanic crust

    SciTech Connect

    Walter, M.J.; Bulanova, G.P.; Armstrong, L.S.; Keshav, S.; Blundy, J.D.; Gudfinnesson, G.; Lord, O.T.; Lennie, A.R.; Clark, S.M.; Smith, C.B.; Gobbo, L.

    2008-07-01

    Partial melting in the Earth's mantle plays an important part in generating the geochemical and isotopic diversity observed in volcanic rocks at the surface. Identifying the composition of these primary melts in the mantle is crucial for establishing links between mantle geochemical 'reservoirs' and fundamental geodynamic processes. Mineral inclusions in natural diamonds have provided a unique window into such deep mantle processes. Here they provide exper8imental and geochemical evidence that silicate mineral inclusions in diamonds from Juina, Brazil, crystallized from primary and evolved carbonatite melts in the mantle transition zone and deep upper mantle. The incompatible trace element abundances calculated for a melt coexisting with a calcium-titanium-silicate perovskite inclusion indicate deep melting of carbonated oceanic crust, probably at transition-zone depths. Further to perovskite, calcic-majorite garnet inclusions record crystallization in the deep upper mantle from an evolved melt that closely resembles estimates of primitive carbonatite on the basis of volcanic rocks. Small-degree melts of subducted crust can be viewed as agents of chemical mass-transfer in the upper mantle and transition zone, leaving a chemical imprint of ocean crust that can possibly endure for billions of years.

  4. Primary carbonatite melt from deeply subducted oceanic crust.

    PubMed

    Walter, M J; Bulanova, G P; Armstrong, L S; Keshav, S; Blundy, J D; Gudfinnsson, G; Lord, O T; Lennie, A R; Clark, S M; Smith, C B; Gobbo, L

    2008-07-31

    Partial melting in the Earth's mantle plays an important part in generating the geochemical and isotopic diversity observed in volcanic rocks at the surface. Identifying the composition of these primary melts in the mantle is crucial for establishing links between mantle geochemical 'reservoirs' and fundamental geodynamic processes. Mineral inclusions in natural diamonds have provided a unique window into such deep mantle processes. Here we provide experimental and geochemical evidence that silicate mineral inclusions in diamonds from Juina, Brazil, crystallized from primary and evolved carbonatite melts in the mantle transition zone and deep upper mantle. The incompatible trace element abundances calculated for a melt coexisting with a calcium-titanium-silicate perovskite inclusion indicate deep melting of carbonated oceanic crust, probably at transition-zone depths. Further to perovskite, calcic-majorite garnet inclusions record crystallization in the deep upper mantle from an evolved melt that closely resembles estimates of primitive carbonatite on the basis of volcanic rocks. Small-degree melts of subducted crust can be viewed as agents of chemical mass-transfer in the upper mantle and transition zone, leaving a chemical imprint of ocean crust that can possibly endure for billions of years. PMID:18668105

  5. Exploring the oceanic crust deep biosphere through subsurface borehole observatories

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Orcutt, Beth

    2015-04-01

    During Integrated Ocean Drilling Program Expeditions 327 and 336, several new subsurface borehole observatories were installed in oceanic crust, with a primary motivation to access the deep biosphere in these poorly understood environments. These new observatories have enabled unprecedented opportunities to collect high-quality samples for microbiological analysis, including metagenomic and single cell genomic investigations of the unique microbial communities living "on the rocks." This presentation will provide an overview of recent discoveries, focusing on the observatories on the Juan de Fuca Ridge flank and highlighting adaptations to life in the subsurface gleaned from genomic approaches. The presentation will also highlight opportunities for continued observatory-based research within the International Ocean Discovery Program.

  6. Magnetism of the oceanic crust: Evidence from ophiolite complexes

    SciTech Connect

    Banerjee, S.K.

    1980-07-10

    The magnetic properties of six ophiolite complexes from around the world, ranging in age from Jurassic to Miocene, are presented. An emphasis is placed in our study on the petrologic and isotopic data from these ophiolite complexes in order to determine first whether the rock samples presently available represent the pristine ocean crust or whether they have been altered subaerially since their formation. Five of the ophiolites are found to be acceptable, and the conclusion is overwhelmingly in favor of a marine magnetic source layer that includes not only the pillow lavas but also the underlying dikes and gabbro. At the moment, however, our observations do not suggest that the magnetic contributions of the basaltic dikes should be overlooked in favor of gabbro. A second important conclusion is that nearly pure magnetite could indeed be a magnetic carrier which contributes to marine magnetic anomanies. It only awaits discovery by deeper ocean crustal penetration by future Deep Sea Drilling Project legs.

  7. Energetics of hydrothermal convection in heterogeneous ocean crust

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ruepke, Lars; Hasenclever, Joerg; Andersen, Christine

    2015-04-01

    Recent advances in hydrothermal flow modeling have revealed the key thermodynamic and fluid-dynamic controls on hydrothermal convection and vent temperatures at oceanic spreading centers. The observed upper limit to black smoker vent temperatures of approx. 400°C can be explained by the thermodynamic properties of water (Jupp and Schultz, 2000). Likewise, 3D models of hydrothermal flow at fast-spreading ridges show cylindrical upwellings with closely interwoven recharge flow (Coumou et al., 2008, Hasenclever et al., 2014). While these studies provide a robust theoretical basis for hydrothermal flow observations at fast-spreading ridges, the situation at slow-spreading ridges is different. The slow-spreading Mid-Atlantic Ridge produces highly heterogeneous crust along its tectonic and magmatic segments with significant permeability contrasts across structural and lithological interfaces. The sub-seafloor permeability structure has a strong control on vent field location such that off-axis hydrothermal systems are apparently consistently located at outcropping fault zones. We have recently shown that preferential flow along high-permeability conduits inevitably leads to the entrainment of cold ambient seawater (Andersen et al., 2014), which causes a temperature drop that is difficult to reconcile with fault-related high-temperature venting. A fundamental question is therefore how hydrothermal fluids can maintain their high temperature while flowing kilometers from a driving heat source through highly heterogeneous crust to a vent site at the seafloor? We address this question by exploring the energetics of hydrothermal convection in heterogeneous ocean crust using 2D and 3D flow simulations. In our analysis we focus on the energy balance of rising hydrothermal plumes and on mixing processes at permeability boundaries, with the aim to establish a more robust theoretical framework for hydrothermal flow through highly heterogeneous seafloor.

  8. Seismic attenuation in upper ocean crust at Hole 504B

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Swift, Stephen A.; Lizarralde, D.; Stephen, Ralph A.; Hoskins, Hartley

    1998-11-01

    Seismic attenuation and its relationship to borehole stratigraphy in the upper 1.8 km of ocean basement at Hole 504B are determined from analysis of vertical seismic profile (VSP) data. VSP data provide unambiguous measurements of seismic amplitude decay along a vertical propagation path through the crust, and ancillary borehole measurements enable detailed modeling of the relative contributions from geometrical spreading, scattering, and intrinsic loss mechanisms to this decay. About 60% of the total observed amplitude decay occurs in the pillow basalt section and is due mostly to geometrical spreading and scattering from impedance contrasts. The remaining amplitude decrease is concentrated in two layers, at 500-650 and 800-900 meters below seafloor (mbsf) (225-375 and 525-625 m below basement), across which amplitude rapidly decays and the frequency characteristics of the downgoing wave field are significantly and permanently modified. Attenuation in these layers is not due to scattering but rather to an intrinsic mechanism that can be characterized by Q of 10 and 8, respectively. It is likely that the Q structure of both of these intervals is formed with the crust near the ridge and thus related to fundamental ocean crust forming processes. The shallow interval coincides with a change in alteration mineralogy deposited by late-stage fluid flow and may separate lower lavas that were emplaced within the rift zone from upper lavas that were emplaced by off-axis flow through large lava tubes. Intrinsic attenuation in the deeper horizon is probably due to an increase in porosity and cracking associated with either intracrustal deformation or subhorizontal faulting. There is negligible attenuation of seismic frequencies in the dikes below 1000 mbsf (˜725 m subbasement).

  9. Colonization of subsurface microbial observatories deployed in young ocean crust

    PubMed Central

    Orcutt, Beth N; Bach, Wolfgang; Becker, Keir; Fisher, Andrew T; Hentscher, Michael; Toner, Brandy M; Wheat, C Geoffrey; Edwards, Katrina J

    2011-01-01

    Oceanic crust comprises the largest hydrogeologic reservoir on Earth, containing fluids in thermodynamic disequilibrium with the basaltic crust. Little is known about microbial ecosystems that inhabit this vast realm and exploit chemically favorable conditions for metabolic activities. Crustal samples recovered from ocean drilling operations are often compromised for microbiological assays, hampering efforts to resolve the extent and functioning of a subsurface biosphere. We report results from the first in situ experimental observatory systems that have been used to study subseafloor life. Experiments deployed for 4 years in young (3.5 Ma) basaltic crust on the eastern flank of the Juan de Fuca Ridge record a dynamic, post-drilling response of crustal microbial ecosystems to changing physical and chemical conditions. Twisted stalks exhibiting a biogenic iron oxyhydroxide signature coated the surface of mineral substrates in the observatories; these are biosignatures indicating colonization by iron oxidizing bacteria during an initial phase of cool, oxic, iron-rich conditions following observatory installation. Following thermal and chemical recovery to warmer, reducing conditions, the in situ microbial structure in the observatory shifted, becoming representative of natural conditions in regional crustal fluids. Firmicutes, metabolic potential of which is unknown but may involve N or S cycling, dominated the post-rebound bacterial community. The archaeal community exhibited an extremely low diversity. Our experiment documented in situ conditions within a natural hydrological system that can pervade over millennia, exemplifying the power of observatory experiments for exploring the subsurface basaltic biosphere, the largest but most poorly understood biotope on Earth. PMID:21107442

  10. Recycling of geochemically heterogenous oceanic crust: Significance for the origin of ocean island basalts

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Duggen, S.; Hoernle, K.; Hauff, F.; Park, S.-H.; Geldmacher, J.

    2009-04-01

    Explaining the isotopic signature and origin of ocean island basalts (OIBs) is a challenge in Earth sciences. There is general agreement that lithospheric material, recycled into the Earth's mantle, is involved in the mantle sources of OIBs. The relative roles, however, of 1) subducted marine sediments, 2) altered oceanic basaltic crust (AOC), 3) oceanic lithospheric mantle and/or 4) delaminated metasomatised subcontinental lithosphere and continental lower crust, however, are much debated. We present results from geochemical modeling in the Sr-Nd-Pb-isotope space following a new approach that takes into account the trace element and isotope heterogeneity of subducted oceanic crust (sediments + AOC). By means of backward and forward modeling, we examine how a geochemically heterogeneous package of oceanic crust may evolve in terms of Sr-Nd-Pb-isotopic composition through time and compare the results with present day radiogenic isotope ratios of OIBs. Our study suggests that recycling of AOC, modified during the subduction process, and stored in the Earth's mantle for several hundreds of millions of years can explain the Sr-Nd-Pb-isotopic composition of OIBs with relatively high Nd-isotope ratios that form elongated fields along or below the Northern Hemisphere Reference Line (NHRL) in the Pb-isotopic diagrams (e.g. Canaries, Galapagos, Iceland, Madeira). Explaining the origin of OIBs with relatively low Nd-isotope ratios and Pb-isotopic composition above the NHRL, and thus geochemical affinity to enriched mantle (EM) components (e.g. Pitcairn, Tristan, Samoa), however, seems to also require recycling of other lithospheric material such as subducted sediments, lower continental crust and/or subcontinental lithosphere.

  11. Geo-neutrino Detection From the Oceanic Crust

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dye, S.

    2006-05-01

    It is well established that radioactivity within the Earth contributes to terrestrial heat flow and dynamic activity of the planet. At present, the extent of the contribution is predicted by models rather than measured by observation. Radioactive heat is dominated by long-lived isotopes of uranium, thorium, and potassium. It is now demonstrated that uranium and thorium in the Earth can be measured by geo-neutrino detectors. Geo- neutrino detectors at both continental and oceanic locations are needed to determine the partitioning of uranium and thorium between the crusts and mantle. The key role of the marine geo-neutrino detector for measuring mantle radioactivity, searching for the putative geo-reactor, and monitoring nuclear activity is described.

  12. Evidence for oceanic crust in the Herodotus Basin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Granot, Roi

    2016-04-01

    Some of the fundamental tectonic problems of the Eastern Mediterranean remain unresolved due to the extremely thick sedimentary cover (10 to 15 km) and the lack of accurate magnetic anomaly data. I have collected 7,000 km of marine magnetic profiles (2012-2014) across the Herodotus and Levant Basins, Eastern Mediterranean, to study the nature and age of the underlying igneous crust. The towed magnetometer array consisted of two Overhauser sensors recording the total magnetic anomaly field in a longitudinal gradiometer mode, and a fully oriented vector magnetometer. The total field data from the Herodotus Basin reveal a newly detected short sequence of long-wavelength NE-SW lineated anomalies that straddle the entire basin suggesting a deep two-dimensional magnetic source layer. The three components of the magnetic vector data indicate that an abrupt transition from a 2D to 3D magnetic structure occurs east of the Herodotus Basin, along where a prominent NE-SW gravity feature is found. Altogether, these new findings confirm that the Herodotus Basin preserves remnants of oceanic crust that formed along the Neotethyan mid-ocean ridge system. The continuous northward and counterclockwise motion of the African Plate during the Paleozoic and Mesozoic allow predicting the evolution of remanent magnetization directions, which in-turn dictate that shape of the anomalies. The shape of the Herodotus anomalies best fit Late Carboniferous to Early Permian (300±20 Myr old) magnetization directions. Finally, I will discuss the implications of these results on the tectonic architecture of the region as well as on various geodynamic processes.

  13. Crust-ocean interactions during midocean ridge eruptions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Baker, E. T.

    2011-12-01

    Eruptions are the "quantum event" of crustal accretion, occurring daily to monthly (depending on spreading rate) along the global midocean ridge system. The number of eruptions detected and responded to remain very few, however, so our knowledge of the magnitude and rate of crust-ocean interaction at the instant of an eruption is almost entirely circumstantial. The discovery of uniquely different plumes over a 2008 eruption on the NE Lau spreading center greatly broadened the known range of eruption-initiated transfer of heat, chemicals, and perhaps biota from the crust to the ocean. Serendipitous observations and rapid response cruises have now documented that the "event (mega-) plumes" accompanying eruptions range over a factor of 100 in volume (1-150 km3), yet maintain a distinctive and consistent chemical signature (much lower 3He/heat and Mn/heat and higher H2/heat than typical black smokers). Confirmed event plumes have formed at spreading rates from 55-~90 mm/yr, with some incompletely sampled but "event-like" plumes observed at even slower rates (11-30 mm/yr; Gakkel and Carlsberg Ridges). Presently, only four event plumes can be associated with specific eruptions. Large event plumes in the NE Pacific were found over thick (up to ~75 m), voluminous, and slowly extruded pillow mounds. The 2008 eruption on the fast-spreading NE Lau spreading center demonstrated that thin (a few meters), small, and rapidly emplaced sheet flows can generate smaller event plumes. Available evidence suggests that massive fluid discharge occurs virtually simultaneously with an eruption. At Gorda Ridge in 1996, eruption-indicative seismicity began on the same day and location an event plume was found. At Axial Volcano in 1998, moorings 2 km apart both recorded the appearance of a >100-m-thick plume within minutes of the start of a 72-min-long sheet flow eruption. These observations support inferences from plume modeling and chemistry that event plume generation time is hours, not

  14. Ancient oceanic crust in island arc lower crust: Evidence from oxygen isotopes in zircons from the Tanzawa Tonalitic Pluton

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Suzuki, Kazue; Kitajima, Kouki; Sawaki, Yusuke; Hattori, Kentaro; Hirata, Takafumi; Maruyama, Shigenori

    2015-07-01

    Knowledge of the lithological variability and genesis of island arc crust is important for understanding continental growth. Although the volcanic architecture of island arcs is comparatively well known, the nature of island arc middle- and lower-crust remains uncertain owing to limited exposure. One of the best targets for deciphering the evolution of an island arc system is the Tanzawa Tonalites (4-9 Ma), in the intra-oceanic Izu-Bonin-Mariana arc. These tonalities which occupied a mid-crustal position were generated by partial melting of lower crust. To constrain protoliths of the plutonic rocks in the island arc lower crust, in-situ O-isotopic analysis using an IMS-1280 Secondary Ion Mass Spectrometer was carried out on 202 zircon grains separated from 4 plutons in the Tanzawa Tonalite. δ18O value of the zircons ranges from 4.1‰ to 5.5‰ and some zircons have δ18O slightly lower than the mantle range. The low zircon δ18O values from the Tanzawa Tonalite suggest that their protoliths involved materials with lower δ18O values than those of the mantle. Hydrothermally altered gabbros in the lower oceanic crust often have lower δ18O values than mantle and can be primary components of arc lower crust. The Tanzawa Tonalite is interpreted to have been formed by partial melting of island arc lower crust. Thus the low δ18O values in zircons from the Tanzawa Tonalites may originate by melting of the hydrothermally altered gabbro. Ancient oceanic crustal material was likely present in the Izu-Bonin-Mariana arc lower crust, at the time of formation of the Tanzawa Tonalites.

  15. Post-glacial ocean acidification and the decline of reefal microbial crusts

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Riding, R.; Liang, L.; Braga, J.

    2011-12-01

    Data from Pacific, Indian Ocean and Caribbean coral reefs indicate marked Late Pleistocene to Holocene decline in the maximum thickness of microbial carbonate crusts in reef cavities. Using estimated values of pH, temperature, CO2, and ionic composition, we calculated calcite saturation ratio (Ωcalcite) of tropical surface seawater for the past 16 Ka. This shows a declining trend of Ωcalcite, paralleling that of reefal microbial crust thickness. We suggest that thinning of reefal microbial crusts could reflect decrease in seawater carbonate saturation due to ocean acidification in response to deglacial CO2 increase. Previously, decline in reefal microbial crusts, for example at Tahiti in the Pacific Ocean, has mainly been attributed to changes in nutrient supply associated with ocean upwelling and/or terrestrial run-off. Ocean acidification does not preclude such effects on microbial crust development produced by localized changes, but two features in particular are consistent with a global link with carbonate saturation state. Firstly, post-glacial decline in reefal microbial crust thickness affected tropical coral reefs in several oceans. Secondly, seawater carbonate saturation is a major long-term control on microbial carbonate abundance; microbially-induced biocalcification requires elevated seawater saturation for CaCO3 minerals and can be expected to fluctuate with carbonate saturation. In addition to compiling published crust thickness data, we measured thicknesses of microbial carbonate crusts in cavities in Tahiti reefs sampled by Integrated Ocean Drilling Program coring in 2005. This indicates halving of maximum crust thickness, during the same period as steep decline in mean-ocean calcite saturation, near the Pleistocene-Holocene transition. Reefal microbial crusts have been common since skeletal reefs became widespread during the Ordovician Period, 475 Ma ago. The habitat for cryptic crusts expanded as scleractinian corals developed cavernous

  16. Oceanic crust formation in the Egeria Fracture Zone Complex (Central Indian Ocean)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Le Minor, Marine; Gaina, Carmen; Sigloch, Karin; Minakov, Alexander

    2016-04-01

    This study aims to analyse in detail the oceanic crust fabric and volcanic features (seamounts) formed for the last 10 million years at the Central Indian Ridge between 19 and 21 latitude south. Multibeam bathymetry and magnetic data has been collected in 2013 as part of the French-German expedition RHUM-RUM (Reunion hotspot and upper mantle - Reunion's unterer mantel). Three long profiles perpendicular on the Central Indian Ridge (CIR), south of the Egeria fracture zone, document the formation of oceanic crust since 10 million years, along with changes in plate kinematics and variations in the magmatic input. We have inspected the abyssal hill geometry and orientation along conjugate oceanic flanks and within one fracture zone segment where we could identify J-shaped features that are indicators of changes in plate kinematics. The magnetic anomaly data shows a slight asymmetry in seafloor spreading rates on conjugate flanks: while a steady increase in spreading rate from 10 Ma to the present is shown by the western flank, the eastern part displays a slowing down from 5 Ma onwards. The deflection of the anti J-shaped abyssal hill lineations suggest that the left-stepping Egeria fracture zone complex (including the Egeria, Flinders and an un-named fracture zone to the southeast) was under transpression from 9 to 6 Ma and under transtension since 3 Ma. The transpressional event was triggered by a clockwise mid-ocean ridge reorientation and a decrease of its offset, whereas the transtensional regime was probably due to a counter-clockwise change in the spreading direction and an increase of the ridge offset. The new multibeam data along the three profiles reveal that crust on the eastern side is smoother (as shown by the abyssal hill number and structure) and hosts several seamounts (with age estimations of 7.67, 6.10 and 0.79 Ma), in contrast to the rougher conjugate western flank. Considering that the western flank was closer to the Reunion plume, and therefore

  17. Extending the deep biosphere through ocean drilling: Bioalteration of volcanic glass in the oceanic crust

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Banerjee, N. R.; Furnes, H.; Muehlenbachs, K.; Staudigel, H.; French, J.

    2003-12-01

    Scientific ocean drilling through the Deep Sea Drilling Program (DSDP) and Ocean Drilling Program (ODP) has provided a window into the deep biosphere. Microbial communities have been identified within hydrothermal vent systems at ocean floor spreading centers, deep within oceanic sediments, and within glassy portions of the basaltic oceanic crust of varying age. Questions still remain regarding the utilized metabolic pathways, how long such microbial activity persists within the oceanic crust, and how well it may be preserved on Earth or other planets. Microbial alteration of basaltic glass from ODP/DSDP cores and ophiolites can be documented by petrographic and biogeochemical techniques. Microbial alteration is seen as either tubular or granular textures. Tubular textures are characterized by micron-scale channel-like features extending from palagonite alteration rims into fresh glass. Granular textures appear as irregular patches of spherical bodies protruding into fresh glass. Detailed SEM imaging of these features commonly reveals delicate filament-like structures and material resembling desiccated biofilm. X-ray element maps invariably show elevated levels of C, N, P, and K associated with suspected microbial alteration features. Comparison of glasses from different ODP/DSDP holes indicates that carbon isotope ratios of carbonates in samples of microbially altered volcanic glass are commonly depleted by as much as -20 per mil, except in samples from slow-spreading ridges where both elevated and depleted C-isotope ratios are observed. In general, the microbes appear to be living off of dissolved organic matter with some evidence of lithoautotrophy at slow-spreading ridges. Maximum microbial activity seems to occur at ˜70° C but is moderated by pore water flow. We have applied nucleic acid staining techniques to many samples and imaged them with epifluorescence and laser scanning confocal microscopy. This has produced exceptional images that provide high

  18. Channelized fluid flow in oceanic crust reconciles heat-flow and permeability data

    PubMed

    Fisher; Becker

    2000-01-01

    Hydrothermal fluid circulation within the sea floor profoundly influences the physical, chemical and biological state of the crust and the oceans. Circulation within ridge flanks (in crust more than 1 Myr old) results in greater heat loss and fluid flux than that at ridge crests and persists for millions of years, thereby altering the composition of the crust and overlying ocean. Fluid flow in oceanic crust is, however, limited by the extent and nature of the rock's permeability. Here we demonstrate that the global data set of borehole permeability measurements in uppermost oceanic crust defines a trend with age that is consistent with changes in seismic velocity. This trend-which indicates that fluid flow should be greatly reduced in crust older than a few million years-would appear to be inconsistent with heat-flow observations, which on average indicate significant advective heat loss in crust up to 65 Myr old. But our calculations, based on a lateral flow model, suggest that regional-scale permeabilities are much higher than have been measured in boreholes. These results can be reconciled if most of the fluid flow in the upper crust is channelized through a small volume of rock, influencing the geometry of convection and the nature of fluid-rock interaction. PMID:10638753

  19. Deformation and rupture of the oceanic crust may control growth of Hawaiian volcanoes

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Got, J.-L.; Monteiller, V.; Monteux, J.; Hassani, R.; Okubo, P.

    2008-01-01

    Hawaiian volcanoes are formed by the eruption of large quantities of basaltic magma related to hot-spot activity below the Pacific Plate. Despite the apparent simplicity of the parent process - emission of magma onto the oceanic crust - the resulting edifices display some topographic complexity. Certain features, such as rift zones and large flank slides, are common to all Hawaiian volcanoes, indicating similarities in their genesis; however, the underlying mechanism controlling this process remains unknown. Here we use seismological investigations and finite-element mechanical modelling to show that the load exerted by large Hawaiian volcanoes can be sufficient to rupture the oceanic crust. This intense deformation, combined with the accelerated subsidence of the oceanic crust and the weakness of the volcanic edifice/oceanic crust interface, may control the surface morphology of Hawaiian volcanoes, especially the existence of their giant flank instabilities. Further studies are needed to determine whether such processes occur in other active intraplate volcanoes. ??2008 Nature Publishing Group.

  20. Deformation and rupture of the oceanic crust may control growth of Hawaiian volcanoes.

    PubMed

    Got, Jean-Luc; Monteiller, Vadim; Monteux, Julien; Hassani, Riad; Okubo, Paul

    2008-01-24

    Hawaiian volcanoes are formed by the eruption of large quantities of basaltic magma related to hot-spot activity below the Pacific Plate. Despite the apparent simplicity of the parent process--emission of magma onto the oceanic crust--the resulting edifices display some topographic complexity. Certain features, such as rift zones and large flank slides, are common to all Hawaiian volcanoes, indicating similarities in their genesis; however, the underlying mechanism controlling this process remains unknown. Here we use seismological investigations and finite-element mechanical modelling to show that the load exerted by large Hawaiian volcanoes can be sufficient to rupture the oceanic crust. This intense deformation, combined with the accelerated subsidence of the oceanic crust and the weakness of the volcanic edifice/oceanic crust interface, may control the surface morphology of Hawaiian volcanoes, especially the existence of their giant flank instabilities. Further studies are needed to determine whether such processes occur in other active intraplate volcanoes. PMID:18216852

  1. Episodic Entrainment of Subducted Oceanic Crust into Primordial Reservoirs of the Lower Mantle

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, M.; McNamara, A. K.; Garnero, E. J.

    2012-12-01

    The origin and dynamic nature of proposed large-scale compositional heterogeneity in Earth's lowermost mantle is not well understood. The preservation of primordial dense materials in the lowermost mantle has long been proposed by both geochemical and geophysical studies. As is shown in geodynamic models, primordial reservoirs can be passively swept to upwelling regions by mantle flow and form stable piles. In addition, oceanic crust can be subducted into the lowermost mantle, providing an additional source of compositional heterogeneity. We performed high resolution 2D calculations to study the interaction between primordial reservoirs and subducted oceanic crust that is compositionally different from the reservoirs, and its implications for deep mantle structure, dynamics, and chemical evolution. We find that oceanic crust subducted to the lowermost mantle is viscously dragged toward upwelling regions, where primordial reservoirs are hypothesized to exist. While most oceanic crust avoids interaction with a reservoir itself and is entrained into thermal plumes that form along the tops of reservoirs, some crust accumulates at the base of the plumes, along reservoir tops. Eventually the volume of accumulated crust at the base of a plume gains enough negative buoyancy such that it is flushed into the reservoir below, through the reservoir's top margin. Crust that is flushed into the reservoirs may explain some of the internal heterogeneity within LLSVPs observed by seismic studies. Experiments and theoretical calculations have suggested a reduction in viscosity within cold regions due to the post-perovskite phase transition. We find that this viscosity drop may act to increase the amount of crust that is entrained into primordial reservoirs. Furthermore, plumes that originate from reservoir tops will exhibit a time-dependent variation in chemistry, containing all three components (background mantle, primordial reservoir, subducted oceanic crust), perhaps explaining

  2. Noble gas transport during devolatilization of oceanic crust

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jackson, C.; Smye, A.; Shuster, D. L.; Parman, S. W.; Kelley, S. P.; Hesse, M. A.; Cooper, R. F.

    2014-12-01

    Here we examine the role of slab dehydration in determining the elemental pattern of recycled noble gases. As a first step, we apply newly reported measurements of He-Ne-Ar (light noble gases) solubility and diffusivity in amphibole to parameterize a 1D diffusive-reaction transport model that simulates noble gas behavior during fluid loss from down-going oceanic crust. Recent experiments demonstrate that noble gases are highly soluble in ring-structured minerals, such as amphibole and other common hydrothermal products in slabs [1]. These results suggest that ring-structured minerals have the potential to strongly influence the budget of noble gases input into subduction zones and the elemental fractionations associated with volatile loss from slabs New measurements of He-Ne-Ar solubility in a suite of amphiboles have been completed utilizing the methodology described in [1]. These new measurements confirm that all light noble gases are highly soluble in amphibole, and that noble gas solubility correlates with the availability of unoccupied ring sites. New experimental measurements of He and Ne diffusivity have also been completed using a step-degassing approach at the Berkeley Geochronology Center. These measurements suggest that vacant ring sites in amphibole act to slow noble gas diffusion. We combine the newly acquired He and Ne diffusivity measurements with literature values for Ar diffusivity [2] to parameterize the diffusive-reaction transport model. Application of these data to the diffusive-reaction transport model yields several new insights. The relative mobility of Ne compared to Ar allows for efficient extraction of Ne from "hot" slabs by shallow depths (<50 km), while Ar is effectively retained to deeper depths, potentially past sub-arc conditions. Noble gas partition coefficients sharply increase with depth, following their increasing non-ideality in supercritical fluids, causing noble gases to partition back into minerals from any fluids retained in

  3. IODP Expedition 345: Structural characteristics of fast spread lower ocean crust, implications for growth and cooling of ocean crust

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    John, B. E.; Ceuleneer, G.; Cheadle, M. J.; Harigane, Y.

    2013-12-01

    IODP Expedition 345 to the Hess Deep Rift sampled ~1 Ma, fast-spread East Pacific Rise gabbroic crust exposed as a dismembered, lower crustal section. Sixteen holes were drilled at Site U1415, centered on a sub-horizontal, 200-m wide E-W-trending bench between 4675 and 4850 mbsl. The bench was formed as a rotational slide within a 1km high slump along the southern wall of the intra-rift ridge. Primitive olivine gabbro and troctolite (Mg# 76-89) were sampled in four discrete, 30 to ≥ 65 m sized blocks formed by the mass wasting that dominates the southwestern slope of the ridge. Igneous fabric orientations (both layering and foliation) in the blocks vary from sub-vertical to gently dipping, suggesting some of the blocks have rotated at least 90°. Magmatic fabrics including spectacular modal and/or grain size layering are prevalent in >50% of the recovered core. Magmatic foliation in all blocks is defined by plagioclase crystal shape, but may also be defined by olivine and, to a lesser extent, orthopyroxene and clinopyroxene when the crystals have suitable habits. In all cases, this foliation is controlled by both the preferred orientation and shape anisotropy of the crystals. Fabric intensity varies from moderate to strong in the block with simple modal layering, weak to absent in the two blocks of troctolite, and largely absent in the block with heterogeneous textures and/or diffuse banding. Intrinsic to the layering and banding is the common development of dendritic and/or skeletal olivine textures (grain size up to 3 cm). The preservation of these delicate olivine grains showing only limited subgrain formation, and no kinking precludes significant low melt fraction (<20%) crystal plastic flow of the cumulates. This observation prohibits ocean crust formation models that require homogeneous deformation/flow at low melt fractions. Down-temperature sub-solidus crystal plastic deformation and/or shear zones are virtually absent from the recovered core. Significant

  4. Age determination of mid-ocean ridge basalts by radiocarbon dating of lithified carbonate crusts

    SciTech Connect

    Kuptsov, V.M.; Bogdanov, Yu.A.; Palkina, A.M.; Lisitsyn, A.P.

    1986-01-01

    The processes that take place in the mid-ocean ridges are the key to their understanding of the evolution of the earth's crust and mantle. Mid-ocean ridge volcanism supplies vast masses of mantle material, forming new oceanic crust. In recent years, comprehensive study has been made of such processes. The problems of geochronology have an important place in these investigations, since only a study of the events in their time sequence will enable them to make a valid estimate of the intensity of these global processes. In 1980, crusts were obtained by the Pikar combined expedition in the Red Sea rift in the 18/sup 0/ study area on the lower tectonic terrace, in the axial zone, and in three deep water basins. Manned deep water submersible, dredges, trawls, bottom samplers, and impact tubes brought up basalts covered with lithified crusts, and also separate lithified crusts, collected from the basalt basement during sampling. The authors have dated the crusts by the radiocarbon method using the benzene technique. Results of the analysis give ages ranging from 2980 to 20,700 years. Results are discussed. The use of lithified carbonate crusts for determining the age of the basalts is effective within the range of the radiocarbon dating method (up to 40,000-45,000 years). This time interval is inaccessible for determinations by other methods of nuclear geochronology, which makes the method especially valuable. 1 reference, 2 figures, 1 table.

  5. Seismic structure of oceanic crust at ODP borehole 504B: Investigating anisotropy and layer 2 characteristics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gregory, E. P. M.; Hobbs, R. W.; Peirce, C.; Wilson, D. J.

    2015-12-01

    Fracture and fault networks in the upper oceanic crust influence the circulation of hydrothermal fluids and heat transfer between crust and ocean. These fractures form by extensional stresses, with a predominant orientation parallel to the ridge axis, creating porosity- and permeability-derived anisotropy that can be measured in terms of seismic velocity. These properties change as the crust ages and evolves through cooling, alteration and sedimentation. The rate at which these changes occur and their effects on oceanic crustal structure and hydrothermal flow patterns are currently not well constrained. The NERC-funded OSCAR project aims to understand the development of upper oceanic crust, the extent and influence of hydrothermal circulation on the crust, and the behavior of fluids flowing in fractured rock. We show P-wave velocity models centered on DSDP/ODP Hole 504B, located ~200 km south of the Costa Rica Rift, derived from data acquired during a recent integrated geophysics and oceanography survey of the Panama Basin. The data were recorded by 25 four-component OBSs deployed in a grid, that recorded ~10,000 full azimuthal coverage shots fired by a combined high- and low-frequency seismic source. Both reflection and refraction data are integrated to reveal the seismic velocity structure of the crust within the 25 km by 25 km grid. The down-hole geological structure of 6 Ma crust at 504B comprises 571.5 m of extrusive basalts overlying a 209 m transition zone of mixed pillows and dikes containing a clear alteration boundary, which grades to >1050 m of sheeted dikes. Our model results are compared with this lithological structure and other previously published results to better understand the nature of velocity changes within seismic layer 2. The data provide a 3D framework, which together with analysis of the S-wave arrivals and particle motion studies, constrain estimates of the seismic anisotropy and permeability structure of the upper oceanic crust as it

  6. The African Plate: A history of oceanic crust accretion and subduction since the Jurassic

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gaina, C.; Torsvik, T. H.; Labails, C.; van Hinsbergen, D.; Werner, S.; Medvedev, S.

    2012-04-01

    Initially part of Gondwana and Pangea, and now surrounded almost entirely by spreading centres, the African plate moved relatively slowly for the last 200 million years. Yet both Africa's cratons and passive margins were affected by tectonic stresses developed at distant plate boundaries. Moreover, the African plate was partly underlain by hot mantle (at least for the last 300 Ma) - either a series of hotspots or a superswell, or both - that contributed to episodic volcanism, basin-swell topography, and consequent sediment deposition, erosion, and structural deformation. A systematic study of the African plate boundaries since the opening of surrounding oceanic basins is presently lacking. This is mainly because geophysical data are sparse and there are still controversies regarding the ages of oceanic crust. The publication of individual geophysical datasets and more recently, global Digital Map of Magnetic Anomalies (WDMAM, EMAG2) prompted us to systematically reconstruct the ages and extent of oceanic crust around Africa for the last 200 Ma. Location of Continent Ocean Boundary/Continent Ocean Transition and older oceanic crust (Jurassic and Cretaceous) are updates in the light of gravity, magnetic and seismic data and models of passive margin formation. Reconstructed NeoTethys oceanic crust is based on a new model of microcontinent and intr-oceanic subduction zone evolution in this area.The new set of oceanic palaeo-age grid models constitutes the basis for estimating the dynamics of oceanic crust through time and will be used as input for quantifying the paleo-ridge push and slab pull that contributed to the African plate palaeo-stresses and had the potential to influence the formation of sedimentary basins.

  7. Trace element chemistry of zircons from oceanic crust: A method for distinguishing detrital zircon provenance

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Grimes, Craig B.; John, Barbara E.; Kelemen, P.B.; Mazdab, F.K.; Wooden, J.L.; Cheadle, Michael J.; Hanghoj, K.; Schwartz, J.J.

    2007-01-01

    We present newly acquired trace element compositions for more than 300 zircon grains in 36 gabbros formed at the slow-spreading Mid-Atlantic and Southwest Indian Ridges. Rare earth element patterns for zircon from modern oceanic crust completely overlap with those for zircon crystallized in continental granitoids. However, plots of U versus Yb and U/Yb versus Hf or Y discriminate zircons crystallized in oceanic crust from continental zircon, and provide a relatively robust method for distinguishing zircons from these environments. Approximately 80% of the modern ocean crust zircons are distinct from the field defined by more than 1700 continental zircons from Archean and Phanerozoic samples. These discrimination diagrams provide a new tool for fingerprinting ocean crust zircons derived from reservoirs like that of modern mid-ocean ridge basalt (MORB) in both modern and ancient detrital zircon populations. Hadean detrital zircons previously reported from the Acasta Gneiss, Canada, and the Narryer Gneiss terrane, Western Australia, plot in the continental granitoid field, supporting hypotheses that at least some Hadean detrital zircons crystallized in continental crust forming magmas and not from a reservoir like modern MORB. ?? 2007 The Geological Society of America.

  8. Emergence of blueschists on Earth linked to secular changes in oceanic crust composition

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Palin, Richard M.; White, Richard W.

    2016-01-01

    The oldest blueschists--metamorphic rocks formed during subduction--are of Neoproterozoic age, and 0.7-0.8 billion years old. Yet, subduction of oceanic crust to mantle depths is thought to have occurred since the Hadean, over 4 billion years ago. Blueschists typically form under cold geothermal gradients of less than 400 °C GPa-1, so their absence in the ancient rock record is typically attributed to hotter pre-Neoproterozoic mantle prohibiting such low-temperature metamorphism; however, modern analogues of Archaean subduction suggest that blueschist-facies metamorphic conditions are attainable at the slab surface. Here we show that the absence of blueschists in the ancient geological record can be attributed to the changing composition of oceanic crust throughout Earth history, which is a consequence of secular cooling of the mantle since the Archaean. Oceanic crust formed on the hot, early Earth would have been rich in magnesium oxide (MgO). We use phase equilibria calculations to show that blueschists do not form in high-MgO rocks under subduction-related geothermal gradients. Instead, the subduction of MgO-rich oceanic crust would have created greenschist-like rocks--metamorphic rocks formed today at low temperatures and pressures. These ancient metamorphic products can hold about 20% more water than younger metamorphosed oceanic crust, implying that the global hydrologic cycle was more efficient in the deep geological past than today.

  9. Silicon isotopes reveal recycled altered oceanic crust in the mantle sources of Ocean Island Basalts

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pringle, Emily A.; Moynier, Frédéric; Savage, Paul S.; Jackson, Matthew G.; Moreira, Manuel; Day, James M. D.

    2016-09-01

    The study of silicon (Si) isotopes in Ocean Island Basalts (OIB) has the potential to discern between different models for the origins of geochemical heterogeneities in the mantle. Relatively large (∼several per mil per atomic mass unit) Si isotope fractionation occurs in low-temperature environments during biochemical and geochemical precipitation of dissolved Si, where the precipitate is preferentially enriched in the lighter isotopes relative to the dissolved Si. In contrast, only a limited range (∼tenths of a per mil) of Si isotope fractionation has been observed from high-temperature igneous processes. Therefore, Si isotopes may be useful as tracers for the presence of crustal material within OIB mantle source regions that experienced relatively low-temperature surface processes in a manner similar to other stable isotope systems, such as oxygen. Characterizing the isotopic composition of the mantle is also of central importance to the use of the Si isotope system as a basis for comparisons with other planetary bodies (e.g., Moon, Mars, asteroids). Here we present the first comprehensive suite of high-precision Si isotope data obtained by MC-ICP-MS for a diverse suite of OIB. Samples originate from ocean islands in the Pacific, Atlantic, and Indian Ocean basins and include representative end-members for the EM-1, EM-2, and HIMU mantle components. On average, δ30Si values for OIB (-0.32 ± 0.09‰, 2 sd) are in general agreement with previous estimates for the δ30Si value of Bulk Silicate Earth (-0.29 ± 0.07‰, 2 sd; Savage et al., 2014). Nonetheless, some small systematic variations are present; specifically, most HIMU-type (Mangaia; Cape Verde; La Palma, Canary Islands) and Iceland OIB are enriched in the lighter isotopes of Si (δ30Si values lower than MORB), consistent with recycled altered oceanic crust and lithospheric mantle in their mantle sources.

  10. Controls on ferromanganese crust composition and reconnaissance resource potential, Ninetyeast Ridge, Indian Ocean

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hein, James R.; Conrad, Tracey; Mizell, Kira; Banakar, Virupaxa K.; Frey, Frederick A.; Sager, William W.

    2016-04-01

    A reconnaissance survey of Fe-Mn crusts from the 5000 km long (~31°S to 10°N) Ninetyeast Ridge (NER) in the Indian Ocean shows their widespread occurrence along the ridge as well as with water depth on the ridge flanks. The crusts are hydrogenetic based in growth rates and discrimination plots. Twenty samples from 12 crusts from 9 locations along the ridge were analyzed for chemical and mineralogical compositions, growth rates, and statistical relationships (Q-mode factor analysis, correlation coefficients) were calculated. The crusts collected are relatively thin (maximum 40 mm), and those analyzed varied from 4 mm to 32 mm. However, crusts as thick as 80 mm can be expected to occur based on the age of rocks that comprise the NER and the growth rates calculated here. Growth rates of the crusts increase to the north along the NER and with water depth. The increase to the north resulted from an increased supply of Mn from the oxygen minimum zone (OMZ) to depths below the OMZ combined with an increased supply of Fe at depth from the dissolution of biogenic carbonate and from deep-sourced hydrothermal Fe. These increased supplies of Fe increased growth rates of the deeper-water crusts along the entire NER. Because of the huge terrigenous (rivers, eolian, pyroclastic) and hydrothermal (three spreading centers) inputs to the Indian Ocean, and the history of primary productivity, Fe-Mn crust compositions vary from those analyzed from open-ocean locations in the Pacific. The sources of detrital material in the crusts change along the NER and reflect, from north to south, the decreasing influence of the Ganga River system and volcanic arcs located to the east, with increasing influence of sediment derived from Australia to the south. In addition, weathering of NER basalt likely contributed to the aluminosilicate fraction of the crusts. The southernmost sample has a relatively large detrital component compared to other southern NER crust samples, which was probably

  11. Millennial-scale ocean acidification and late Quaternary decline of cryptic bacterial crusts in tropical reefs.

    PubMed

    Riding, R; Liang, L; Braga, J C

    2014-09-01

    Ocean acidification by atmospheric carbon dioxide has increased almost continuously since the last glacial maximum (LGM), 21,000 years ago. It is expected to impair tropical reef development, but effects on reefs at the present day and in the recent past have proved difficult to evaluate. We present evidence that acidification has already significantly reduced the formation of calcified bacterial crusts in tropical reefs. Unlike major reef builders such as coralline algae and corals that more closely control their calcification, bacterial calcification is very sensitive to ambient changes in carbonate chemistry. Bacterial crusts in reef cavities have declined in thickness over the past 14,000 years with largest reduction occurring 12,000-10,000 years ago. We interpret this as an early effect of deglacial ocean acidification on reef calcification and infer that similar crusts were likely to have been thicker when seawater carbonate saturation was increased during earlier glacial intervals, and thinner during interglacials. These changes in crust thickness could have substantially affected reef development over glacial cycles, as rigid crusts significantly strengthen framework and their reduction would have increased the susceptibility of reefs to biological and physical erosion. Bacterial crust decline reveals previously unrecognized millennial-scale acidification effects on tropical reefs. This directs attention to the role of crusts in reef formation and the ability of bioinduced calcification to reflect changes in seawater chemistry. It also provides a long-term context for assessing anticipated anthropogenic effects. PMID:25040070

  12. Evidence for a thick oceanic crust adjacent to the Norwegian Margin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mutter, John C.; Talwani, Manik; Stoffa, Paul L.

    1984-01-01

    The oceanic crust created during this first few million years of accretion in the Norwegian-Greenland Sea lies at an unusually shallow depth for its age, has a smooth upper surface, and in many places the results of multichannel seismic reflection profiling reveal that its upper layers comprise a remarkable sequence of arcuate, seaward-dipping reflectors. These have been attributed to lava flows generated during a brief period of subaerial seafloor spreading. We describe the results of inversions of digitally recorded sonobuoy measurements and two-ship expanded spread profiles collected over the oceanic crust adjacent to the Norwegian passive margin. We find that the crust of the deep Lofoten Basin is indistinguishable from normal oceanic crust in thickness and structure. Closer to the margin we observe up to a four times expansion in thickness of layers with velocities equal to those of oceanic layer 2, while the layer 3 region retains approximately the same thickness. The area over which the seaward-dipping reflectors can be observed on reflection profiles corresponds to the region of greatest expansion in "Layer 2" thickness. In the very oldest crust immediately adjacent to an escarpment that probably marks the continent-ocean boundary, we see evidence for a low velocity zone overlying an indistinct reflector that may mark the dyke-lava interface in the thick crust. Comparing the structure of the thick crust to that of eastern Iceland, we find a strong resemblance, especially in the expansion in thickness of material with layer 2 velocities. These results support the suggestion that during the earliest stages of spreading extrusive volcanism at the ridge crest was unusually voluminous, building a thick pile of lavas erupted from a subaerial spreading center.

  13. Contraction or expansion of the Moon's crust during magma ocean freezing?

    PubMed Central

    Elkins-Tanton, Linda T.; Bercovici, David

    2014-01-01

    The lack of contraction features on the Moon has been used to argue that the Moon underwent limited secular cooling, and thus had a relatively cool initial state. A cool early state in turn limits the depth of the lunar magma ocean. Recent GRAIL gravity measurements, however, suggest that dikes were emplaced in the lower crust, requiring global lunar expansion. Starting from the magma ocean state, we show that solidification of the lunar magma ocean would most likely result in expansion of the young lunar crust, and that viscous relaxation of the crust would prevent early tectonic features of contraction or expansion from being recorded permanently. The most likely process for creating the expansion recorded by the dikes is melting during cumulate overturn of the newly solidified lunar mantle. PMID:25114310

  14. Hydrothermal Fluxes in Europan Ocean: The Effect of Seawater and Oceanic Crust Composition

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Foustoukos, D.; Seyfried, W.

    2005-12-01

    The recent discovery of electrolyte-enriched liquid water layer in Jupiter icy satellite, Europa, has triggered numerous investigations to assess the chemical composition and physicochemical processes occurring within Europan ocean. Europa appears to be strongly differentiated composed by a metallic core and a hydrated silicate mantle. Thus, heat fluxes could be generated in the planetary core through radioactive decay stimulating volcanic events and serving as the driving force for subseafloor hydrothermal activity. Beyond doubt, the chemical composition of the seawater and the oceanic substrate on Europa plays a key role in regulating pH and redox reactions during presumed hydrothermal alteration processes. Hydrothermal alteration of basalt and peridotite, for example, will likely yield different pH conditions, with the ultramafic-hosted hydrothermal system resulting in higher pH, significantly affecting the ratio of reduced/oxidized sulfur and the metal fluxes. Incipient alteration of basalt and peridotite will also generate reducing conditions, although the H2/H2S ratio of the coexisting fluid will be higher in the ultramafic systems. An important chemical control on Europan ocean evolution is the redox state of the sulfur originated from the oceanic crust and the SO4-enriched neutral-alkaline seawater. In general, relatively alkaline and oxidizing conditions favor the formation of SO4, while more acidic and reducing conditions yield H2S(aq) stable. Thus, hydrothermal alteration of basalt and peridotite facilitates sulfate reduction, while constraints imposed by a more oxidizing mineral assemblage (e.g. hematite-magnetite-pyrite) would render low H2(aq) conditions inhibiting formation of reduced sulfate species. Extensive hydrothermal alteration of fresh basalt, however, forming epidote and anhydrite, would preclude phase equilibria involving hematite. Consequently, initial neutral pH would be shifted towards more acidic conditions, limiting by this way any

  15. Diagenesis and dehydration of subducting oceanic crust within seismogenic subduction zones

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kameda, J.; Yamaguchi, A.; Hamada, Y.; Hashimoto, Y.; Kimura, G.

    2012-12-01

    Diagenesis and dehydration of subducting oceanic crust is thought to have strong influence on mechanical and hydrologic properties of seismogenic plate interfaces beneath the accretionary wedges (Kameda et al., 2011). In this work, we analyzed five representative pillow basalts exposed in the ancient accretionary complex, the Shimanto belt in southwest Japan, in order to derive details on a suite of mineral reactions within the subducting oceanic crust. Based on the vitrinite reflectance measurement of terrigenous sediments accompanied by these rocks, they are estimated to have been subjected to burial diagenenesis at 150-300 C. Whole rock and clay-fraction X-ray diffraction (XRD) analyses indicate that sequential saponite to chlorite transformation through mixed-layer phases proceeds under the relatively constant bulk rock composition. Such clay mineral reaction may persist to deep crustal level (~290 C) and contribute to bulk dehydration as a dominant fluid supplier to the plate-boundary fault system. The dehydration may cause abnormal fluid pressurization around the plate-boundary fault zone with a maximum at a certain horizon below the fault (within the intact oceanic crust), resulting in underplating of the upper basement rock into the overriding accretionary prism. Such dehydration-induced weakening process well explains the thickness distribution of the accreted basaltic crust fragments as observed in the onland exposures (Kimura and Ludden, 1995). The breakage of the oceanic crust potentially nucleates seismic slip to propagate along the seismogenic plate interface.

  16. Chemical heterogeneity in the Hawaiian mantle plume from the alteration and dehydration of recycled oceanic crust

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pietruszka, Aaron J.; Norman, Marc D.; Garcia, Michael O.; Marske, Jared P.; Burns, Dale H.

    2013-01-01

    Inter-shield differences in the composition of lavas from Hawaiian volcanoes are generally thought to result from the melting of a heterogeneous mantle source containing variable amounts or types of oceanic crust (sediment, basalt, and/or gabbro) that was recycled into the mantle at an ancient subduction zone. Here we investigate the origin of chemical heterogeneity in the Hawaiian mantle plume by comparing the incompatible trace element abundances of tholeiitic basalts from (1) the three active Hawaiian volcanoes (Kilauea, Mauna Loa, and Loihi) and (2) the extinct Koolau shield (a compositional end member for Hawaiian volcanoes). New model calculations suggest that the mantle sources of Hawaiian volcanoes contain a significant amount of recycled oceanic crust with a factor of ˜2 increase from ˜8-16% at Loihi and Kilauea to ˜15-21% at Mauna Loa and Koolau. We propose that the Hawaiian plume contains a package of recycled oceanic crust (basalt and gabbro, with little or no marine sediment) that was altered by interaction with seawater or hydrothermal fluids prior to being variably dehydrated during subduction. The recycled oceanic crust in the mantle source of Loihi and Kilauea lavas is dominated by the uppermost portion of the residual slab (gabbro-free and strongly dehydrated), whereas the recycled oceanic crust in the mantle source of Mauna Loa and Koolau lavas is dominated by the lowermost portion of the residual slab (gabbro-rich and weakly dehydrated). The present-day distribution of compositional heterogeneities in the Hawaiian plume cannot be described by either a large-scale bilateral asymmetry or radial zonation. Instead, the mantle source of the active Hawaiian volcanoes is probably heterogeneous on a small scale with a NW-SE oriented spatial gradient in the amount, type (i.e., basalt vs. gabbro), and extent of dehydration of the ancient recycled oceanic crust.

  17. Chemical Evolution of the Oceanic Crust on 103 - 108 Year Timescales

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brandl, P. A.; Regelous, M.; Beier, C.; Haase, K. M.

    2011-12-01

    The chemical and isotopic composition of mid-ocean ridge basalts (MORB) are widely used to infer the processes of melt generation, melt evolution and eruption at mid-ocean ridges. However, almost all analysed MORB samples analysed to date were collected by dredging from within 1 km of the active spreading centres, and thus represent the very youngest lavas erupted within the neovolcanic zone. These are not necessarily representative of the flows that make up the bulk of the oceanic crust. A more accurate record of the composition of the oceanic crust is provided by samples collected by drilling outside the neovolcanic zone. Drillcore samples can be used to study the chemical evolution of the oceanic crust on <1 - 25 ky timescales (the likely period over which the bulk of the oceanic crust is produced, based on estimates of spreading rate and the width of the neovolcanic zone). Some models for oceanic crust formation at slow-spreading ridges predict that there may be differences between the earliest lavas erupted at the ridge axis, and younger flows emplaced outside the axial rift. In addition, MORB samples drilled from ancient (>80 My) oceanic crust can be used to test the hypothesis that the average major element composition of Cretaceous MORB was different from that of today, possibly due to changes in mantle potential temperature or 'pollution' of the upper mantle by large-scale 'mantle overturning' events. We will present new major and trace element data, measured using electron microprobe and LA-ICPMS techniques, for more than 360 volcanic glasses from 30 DSDP-ODP-IODP drill sites from the Atlantic (9 sites) and Pacific (21 sites). The age of the oceanic crust at these sites ranges from 6 Ma up to 160-170 Ma, and all sites were drilled in normal oceanic crust far from hotspots. We have analysed exclusively fresh volcanic glasses, because the whole-rock samples used in previous compilations of ancient oceanic crust composition (Humler et al., 1999), may be

  18. Misho mafic complex - A part of paleotethyan oceanic crust or a magmatism in continental rift?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Azimzadeh, Zohreh; Jahangiri, Ahmad; Saccani, Emilio; Dilek, Yildirim

    2013-04-01

    Misho Mafic Complex (NW Iran) represents a significant component of the West Cimmerian domain in Paleo-Tethys. The Misho Mafic Complex (MMC) consists of gabbro (mainly) and norıte,olivine gabbro, anorthosite and diorite with the east- west sereight. MMC has ıntrussıved ın Kahar sedımrtery Infta- Cambrıan rocks, crosscut by abundant basaltic dykes and the overlying basaltic sheeted dyke complex. Kahar sedimentary rocks are representing the northern margin of Gondwana. Misho mafic complex are covered by Permian sedimentary rocks. The gabbros and basaltic dykes have MORB affinities. MMC formed as a product of interactions between a depleted MORB-type asthenosphere and plume-type material. Mafic rocks represent an early Carboniferous magmatic event developed during the continental break-up of the northern edge of Gondwanaland that led to the opening of Paleotethys. Alternatively, these magmas may have been emplaced into the continental crust at the continental margin soon after the oceanic crust was formed (that is the oceanic crust was still narrow). There is no data for discriminating between these two hypotheses. In first hypothesis MMC is a part of ophiolites related to paleotethyan oceanic crust and the rocks that were above this crustal level should have necessarily been eroded. In another hypothesis Misho complex represents an aborted rift in a triple junction. Above a mantle plume, the continental crust breaks along three directions at 120 degrees. But, soon after, the extension proceeds along two of these three direction. Between them is formed the oceanic crust. The continental extension along the third direction is aborted. Here no oceanic crust if formed and there is only rifted, thinned continental crust. But, also in the aborted branch MORB magmatism can occur for short time. In this hypothesis, the Misho complex was never associated with oceanic crust, but was anyway associated with the opening of the Paleotethys. This magmatism was originally

  19. Tectonic slicing of subducting oceanic crust along plate interfaces: Numerical modeling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ruh, J. B.; Le Pourhiet, L.; Agard, Ph.; Burov, E.; Gerya, T.

    2015-10-01

    Multikilometer-sized slivers of high-pressure low-temperature metamorphic oceanic crust and mantle are observed in many mountain belts. These blueschist and eclogite units were detached from the descending plate during subduction. Large-scale thermo-mechanical numerical models based on finite difference marker-in-cell staggered grid technique are implemented to investigate slicing processes that lead to the detachment of oceanic slivers and their exhumation before the onset of the continental collision phase. In particular, we investigate the role of the serpentinized subcrustal slab mantle in the mechanisms of shallow and deep crustal slicing. Results show that spatially homogeneous serpentinization of the sub-Moho slab mantle leads to complete accretion of oceanic crust within the accretionary wedge. Spatially discontinuous serpentinization of the slab mantle in form of unconnected patches can lead to shallow slicing of the oceanic crust below the accretionary wedge and to its deep slicing at mantle depths depending on the patch length, slab angle, convergence velocity and continental geothermal gradient. P-T paths obtained in this study are compared to natural examples of shallow slicing of the Crescent Terrane below Vancouver Island and deeply sliced crust of the Lago Superiore and Saas-Zermatt units in the Western Alps.

  20. Europa's Crust and Ocean: Origin, Composition, and the Prospects for Life

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Kargel, J.S.; Kaye, J.Z.; Head, J. W., III; Marion, G.M.; Sassen, R.; Crowley, J.K.; Ballesteros, O.P.; Grant, S.A.; Hogenboom, D.L.

    2000-01-01

    We have considered a wide array of scenarios for Europa's chemical evolution in an attempt to explain the presence of ice and hydrated materials on its surface and to understand the physical and chemical nature of any ocean that may lie below. We postulate that, following formation of the jovian system, the europan evolutionary sequence has as its major links: (a) initial carbonaceous chondrite rock, (b) global primordial aqueous differentiation and formation of an impure primordial hydrous crust, (c) brine evolution and intracrustal differentiation, (d) degassing of Europa's mantle and gas venting, (e) hydrothermal processes, and (f) chemical surface alteration. Our models were developed in the context of constraints provided by Galileo imaging, near infrared reflectance spectroscopy, and gravity and magnetometer data. Low-temperature aqueous differentiation from a carbonaceous CI or CM chondrite precursor, without further chemical processing, would result in a crust/ocean enriched in magnesium sulfate and sodium sulfate, consistent with Galileo spectroscopy. Within the bounds of this simple model, a wide range of possible layered structures may result; the final state depends on the details of intracrustal differentiation. Devolatilization of the rocky mantle and hydrothermal brine reactions could have produced very different ocean/crust compositions, e.g., an ocean/crust of sodium carbonate or sulfuric acid, or a crust containing abundant clathrate hydrates. Realistic chemical-physical evolution scenarios differ greatly in detailed predictions, but they generally call for a highly impure and chemically layered crust. Some of these models could lead also to lateral chemical heterogeneities by diapiric upwellings and/or cryovolcanism. We describe some plausible geological consequences of the physical-chemical structures predicted from these scenarios. These predicted consequences and observed aspects of Europa's geology may serve as a basis for further analys is

  1. Alpha Ridge: Oceanic or Continental Crust? Constraints from Crustal Thickness Mapping using Gravity Inversion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kusznir, N. J.; Alvey, A.

    2010-12-01

    The ocean basins of the Arctic formed during the Late Jurassic, Cretaceous and Tertiary as a series of small distinct ocean basins leading to a complex distribution of oceanic crust, thinned continental crust and rifted continental margins. The structure and origin of the Alpha and Mendeleev Ridges within the Amerasia Basin are contentious; possibilities include thick oceanic crust formed by ocean ridge - mantle plume interaction, micro-continents or thinned continental crust with mantle plume volcanic addition. We use gravity inversion, incorporating a lithosphere thermal gravity anomaly correction, to map Moho depth, crustal thickness and continental lithosphere thinning factor for the Amerasia Basin in order to determine the distribution of oceanic and continental lithosphere and the ocean-continent transition location. Data used in the gravity inversion are gravity data from the NGA (U) Arctic Gravity Project, IBCAO bathymetry and sediment thickness from Laske et al. (1997). Our gravity inversion predicts thin crust (5-10 km thickness) and high continental lithosphere thinning factors in the Makarov, Podvodnikov, Nautilus and Canada Basins consistent with these basins being oceanic or highly thinned continental crust. Larger crustal thicknesses, in the range 20-30 km, are predicted for the Alpha, Mendeleev and Lomonosov Ridges. Moho depths predicted by gravity inversion compare well with estimates from the TransArctica-Arctica seismic profiles. Moho depths from the gravity inversion are dependent on the age of oceanic lithosphere and continental breakup because of the lithosphere thermal gravity anomaly correction; these ages are uncertain for the Amerasia Basin. Gravity inversion sensitivities to break-up ages between 150 Ma (late Jurassic Triassic) and 60 Ma (early Tertiary) have been examined. Alpha Ridge has in its centre a crustal thickness of 25-30 km and possesses sharp angular edges. While Alpha Ridge has been compared with Iceland for structure and

  2. Glacial cycles drive variations in the production of oceanic crust

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Crowley, John W.; Katz, Richard F.; Huybers, Peter; Langmuir, Charles H.; Park, Sung-Hyun

    2015-03-01

    Glacial cycles redistribute water between oceans and continents, causing pressure changes in the upper mantle, with consequences for the melting of Earth’s interior. Using Plio-Pleistocene sea-level variations as a forcing function, theoretical models of mid-ocean ridge dynamics that include melt transport predict temporal variations in crustal thickness of hundreds of meters. New bathymetry from the Australian-Antarctic ridge shows statistically significant spectral energy near the Milankovitch periods of 23, 41, and 100 thousand years, which is consistent with model predictions. These results suggest that abyssal hills, one of the most common bathymetric features on Earth, record the magmatic response to changes in sea level. The models and data support a link between glacial cycles at the surface and mantle melting at depth, recorded in the bathymetric fabric of the sea floor.

  3. Glacial cycles drive variations in the production of oceanic crust.

    PubMed

    Crowley, John W; Katz, Richard F; Huybers, Peter; Langmuir, Charles H; Park, Sung-Hyun

    2015-03-13

    Glacial cycles redistribute water between oceans and continents, causing pressure changes in the upper mantle, with consequences for the melting of Earth's interior. Using Plio-Pleistocene sea-level variations as a forcing function, theoretical models of mid-ocean ridge dynamics that include melt transport predict temporal variations in crustal thickness of hundreds of meters. New bathymetry from the Australian-Antarctic ridge shows statistically significant spectral energy near the Milankovitch periods of 23, 41, and 100 thousand years, which is consistent with model predictions. These results suggest that abyssal hills, one of the most common bathymetric features on Earth, record the magmatic response to changes in sea level. The models and data support a link between glacial cycles at the surface and mantle melting at depth, recorded in the bathymetric fabric of the sea floor. PMID:25766231

  4. Microbial community on oceanic ferro-manganese crusts from Takuyo-Daigo Seamount and Ryusei Seamount

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nitahara, S.; Kato, S.; Yamagishi, A.

    2012-12-01

    and Discussion We estimated the numbers of bacterial and archaeal cell on Mn crusts from Takuyo-Daigo seamount by QPCR. Bacterial cell number on Mn crust was estimated to be approximately 10^7 cells/g. Those of archaea were estimated to be between 10^6 and 10^7 cells/g. Archaea dominated in three of four Mn crust samples (50~83 % of total cell numbers). Microbial community of Mn crusts was different from those of sediment and seawater. This suggests that unique microbial community present on Mn crusts. Many phylotypes related to uncultured group were detected. Phylotypes closely related to Marine Group I (MGI) were detected from six Mn crust samples, collected from Takuyo-Daigo and Ryusei seamounts. MGI includes Ammonia-Oxidizing Archaea (AOA) and is ubiquitously distributed in ocean (Karner et al., 2001). Phylotypes closely related to Nitrosospira, ammonia-oxidizing bacteria (AOB), were detected from four Mn crusts collected from Takuyo-Daigo seamount. Presence of these ammonia oxidizers was supported by detection of bacterial and archaeal amoA genes. The copy numbers of bacterial and archaeal amoA genes were estimated to be approximately 10^5 -10^6 copy/g by QPCR. These facts suggest that ammonia oxidizers are present abundantly on Mn crusts. MGI and Nitrosospira include autotrophic ammonia oxidizers. These groups may play a role as primary producers in Mn crust ecosystems.

  5. Mass-dependent U isotopic variations in altered oceanic crust and volcanic arc magmas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Freymuth, H.; Andersen, M. B.; Elliott, T.

    2013-12-01

    We investigate the effect of alteration of the oceanic crust and subduction zone processing on the 238U/235U ratio (typically expressed as δ238U or parts per thousand difference from the CRM 145 standard). This allows us to evaluate the potential of mass-dependent U isotope measurements to trace subduction components in arc magmas and the use of U isotopes as a tracer for deep crustal recycling. It has long been known that U is added to the oceanic crust during both low and high temperature alteration of the oceanic crust, whilst some of the subducted inventory of U is returned to the surface in arc lavas. We have measured the U isotopic compositions of samples from the altered, mafic, oceanic crust (AOC) at ODP site 801 as well as lavas erupted at the volcanic front of the Mariana arc. The former represents a reference site for studying the time-integrated influence of seafloor alteration and the latter constitute a well characterised sample set for which the role of slab-derived ';fluid' and sediment components can be separately recognised. The altered oceanic crust in ODP site 801 is compositionally variable and δ238U in different sections is correlated with indices of alteration such as Rb/Ba. It is similar to seawater in the top ˜100 m and isotopically heavier in deeper parts. These differences are likely to be caused by oxidizing conditions in the top part of the AOC and reducing conditions in deeper parts of the AOC and isotopic fractionation occurring during the alteration of the oceanic crust. The Mariana arc lavas span a range of ˜100 ppm in δ238U and vary systematically between seawater-like compositions in samples that have been previously identified as ';fluid-rich' and heavier values similar to fresh mantle-derived basalts in the more sediment-rich samples. These systematics indicate that either the light U in the upper mafic crust is preferentially lost to the arc lavas or that during slab dehydration of the AOC, U is fractionated to generate an

  6. Phylogenetic Diversity of Young Ocean Crust at the East Pacific Rise 9° N

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Santelli, C. M.; Bach, W.; Rogers, D. R.; Edwards, K. J.

    2004-12-01

    Numerous studies show increasing evidence for a significant biosphere in oceanic lithosphere. Geochemical modeling suggests that most biological activity at or below the seafloor occurs in young crust (<10 Ma) on mid-ocean ridge flanks where low-temperature fluid circulation is substantial. In this environment, oxygenated seawater reacts with basalt and releases chemical energy that could support the growth of microorganisms. Fluid fluxes rapidly decrease further off-axis in older, more altered crust likely leading to a sharp decline in biological activity. To date, most evidence in support of a deep biosphere relies on anomalous textural features and geochemical signatures in aged basalt glass. In order to unambiguously attribute these alteration features to microbial activity, molecular microbiological data is required to corroborate these morphological and chemical observations. The application of molecular techniques to old ocean crust, however, can be difficult because of issues such as low cell density, contamination, and sluggish activity. Hence, studies on young ocean crust may provide insight and constraints on processes that could also apply to older crust. In this study, we have investigated the initial colonization of very young mid-ocean ridge basalt by endolithic microorganisms, and the changes in microbial diversity as a result of increasing rock alteration. Seafloor basalt samples were collected during RV Atlantis cruise AT11-7 in February 2004, from the East Pacific Rise (EPR) between 9° 28'N and 9° 50'N. Samples representing various flow morphologies, glass contents, and ages (up to ˜20 kyrs) were collected by DSV Alvin and brought to the surface in bioboxes. All basalts contain glass that ranges from very fresh to slightly altered with Fe-oxidation rims and/or Mn-oxide crusts. Total community DNA was successfully extracted from glass samples representative of a variety of alteration states. Clone libraries were constructed from PCR products of

  7. Recycled oceanic crust observed in 'ghost plagioclase' within the source of Mauna Loa lavas

    PubMed

    Sobolev; Hofmann; Nikogosian

    2000-04-27

    The hypothesis that mantle plumes contain recycled oceanic crust is now widely accepted. Some specific source components of the Hawaiian plume have been inferred to represent recycled oceanic basalts, pelagic sediments or oceanic gabbros. Bulk lava compositions, however, retain the specific trace-element fingerprint of the original crustal component in only a highly attenuated form. Here we report the discovery of exotic, strontium-enriched melt inclusions in Mauna Loa olivines. Their complete trace-element patterns strongly resemble those of layered gabbros found in ophiolites, which are characterized by cumulus plagioclase with very high strontium abundances. The major-element compositions of these melts indicate that their composition cannot be the result of the assimilation of present-day oceanic crust through which the melts have travelled. Instead, the gabbro has been transformed into a (high-pressure) eclogite by subduction and recycling, and this eclogite has then been incorporated into the Hawaiian mantle plume. The trace-element signature of the original plagioclase is present only as a 'ghost' signature, which permits specific identification of the recycled rock type. The 'ghost plagioclase' trace-element signature demonstrates that the former gabbro can retain much of its original chemical identity through the convective cycle without completely mixing with other portions of the former oceanic crust. PMID:10801125

  8. Climate and ocean dynamics and the lead isotopic records in pacific ferromanganese crusts

    SciTech Connect

    Christensen, J.N.; Halliday, A.N.; Rea, D.K.

    1997-08-15

    As hydrogenous iron-manganese crusts grow, at rates of millimeters per million years, they record changes in the lead isotopic composition of ambient seawater. Time-resolved lead isotopic data for cut slabs of two central Pacific iron-manganese crusts that have been growing since about 50 million years ago were measured in situ by laser ablation, multiple-collector, inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry. The lead isotopic compositions have remained remarkably uniform over the past 30 million years, but the record of small variations corresponds with other paleoceanographic indicators of climate change, including weathering and glaciation. This implies that despite the short residence time of lead in the oceans, global mechanisms may influence lead isotopic compositions in the central Pacific, far from continental inputs, because of changes in weathering, ocean circulation, and degree of mixing. Thus lead isotopic data could be used to probe climate-driven changes in ocean circulation through time. 40 refs., 4 figs.

  9. Deep mantle cycling of oceanic crust: evidence from diamonds and their mineral inclusions.

    PubMed

    Walter, M J; Kohn, S C; Araujo, D; Bulanova, G P; Smith, C B; Gaillou, E; Wang, J; Steele, A; Shirey, S B

    2011-10-01

    A primary consequence of plate tectonics is that basaltic oceanic crust subducts with lithospheric slabs into the mantle. Seismological studies extend this process to the lower mantle, and geochemical observations indicate return of oceanic crust to the upper mantle in plumes. There has been no direct petrologic evidence, however, of the return of subducted oceanic crustal components from the lower mantle. We analyzed superdeep diamonds from Juina-5 kimberlite, Brazil, which host inclusions with compositions comprising the entire phase assemblage expected to crystallize from basalt under lower-mantle conditions. The inclusion mineralogies require exhumation from the lower to upper mantle. Because the diamond hosts have carbon isotope signatures consistent with surface-derived carbon, we conclude that the deep carbon cycle extends into the lower mantle. PMID:21921159

  10. Microbial Inventory of Deeply Buried Oceanic Crust from a Young Ridge Flank

    PubMed Central

    Jørgensen, Steffen L.; Zhao, Rui

    2016-01-01

    The deep marine biosphere has over the past decades been exposed as an immense habitat for microorganisms with wide-reaching implications for our understanding of life on Earth. Recent advances in knowledge concerning this biosphere have been achieved mainly through extensive microbial and geochemical studies of deep marine sediments. However, the oceanic crust buried beneath the sediments, is still largely unexplored with respect to even the most fundamental questions related to microbial life. Here, we present quantitative and qualitative data related to the microbial inventory from 33 deeply buried basaltic rocks collected at two different locations, penetrating 300 vertical meters into the upper oceanic crust on the west flank of the Mid-Atlantic spreading ridge. We use quantitative PCR and sequencing of 16S rRNA gene amplicons to estimate cell abundances and to profile the community structure. Our data suggest that the number of cells is relatively stable at ~104 per gram of rock irrespectively of sampling site and depth. Further, we show that Proteobacteria, especially Gammaproteobacteria dominate the microbial assemblage across all investigated samples, with Archaea, in general, represented by < 1% of the community. In addition, we show that the communities within the crust are distinct from the overlying sediment. However, many of their respective microbial inhabitants are shared between the two biomes, but with markedly different relative distributions. Our study provides fundamental information with respect to abundance, distribution, and identity of microorganisms in the upper oceanic crust. PMID:27303398

  11. Glacial cycles drive variations in the production of oceanic crust

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Katz, R. F.; Crowley, J. W.; Langmuir, C. H.

    2012-12-01

    Glacial cycles redistribute water between the oceans and continents, causing long-wavelength changes of static pressure in the upper mantle. Previous work has shown that subaerial, glaciated volcanoes respond to these changes with variation in eruption rates (Jull & McKenzie 1996, Huybers & Langmuir 2009), and has suggested that the magmatic flux at mid-ocean ridges may vary with changes in sea-level (Huybers & Langmuir 2009, Lund & Asimow 2011). The latter is speculative, however, because previous theory has assumed highly simplified melt transport and neglected the dependence of the ridge thermal structure on spreading rate. Moreover, it remains a challenge to connect model predictions of variations arising from sea-level change with sea-floor observations. Here we present results from a theoretical model of a mid-ocean ridge based on conservation of mass, momentum, energy, and composition for two phases (magma & mantle) and two thermodynamic components (enriched & depleted) (Katz 2008, 2010). The model is driven by imposed variations in the static pressure within the mantle. We consider both the geochemically inferred record of past sea-level variation, as well as simpler harmonic and instantaneous variations. The output of these models is compared with observations of bathymetry at ridges that are undisturbed by off-axis volcanism. The comparison is preliminary but suggests that some abyssal hills on the sea-floor are, at least in part, the result of glacial cycles. To understand the simulation results in more detail, we develop analytical solutions for a reduced-complexity model. This model is derived according to the idea that the melting induced by sea-level changes can be thought of as a small perturbation to a steady-state system. We obtain a Green's function solution for crustal thickness as a function of sea-level change with the associated dependencies on geophysical parameters of the magma/mantle system. We show that this solution captures much of the

  12. Dating the growth of oceanic crust at a slow-spreading ridge.

    PubMed

    Schwartz, Joshua J; John, Barbara E; Cheadle, Michael J; Miranda, Elena A; Grimes, Craig B; Wooden, Joseph L; Dick, Henry J B

    2005-10-28

    Nineteen uranium-lead zircon ages of lower crustal gabbros from Atlantis Bank, Southwest Indian Ridge, constrain the growth and construction of oceanic crust at this slow-spreading midocean ridge. Approximately 75% of the gabbros accreted within error of the predicted seafloor magnetic age, whereas approximately 25% are significantly older. These anomalously old samples suggest either spatially varying stochastic intrusion at the ridge axis or, more likely, crystallization of older gabbros at depths of approximately 5 to 18 kilometers below the base of crust in the cold, axial lithosphere, which were uplifted and intruded by shallow-level magmas during the creation of Atlantis Bank. PMID:16254183

  13. Dating the growth of oceanic crust at a slow-spreading ridge

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Schwartz, J.J.; John, Barbara E.; Cheadle, Michael J.; Miranda, E.A.; Grimes, Craig B.; Wooden, J.L.; Dick, H.J.B.

    2005-01-01

    Nineteen uranium-lead zircon ages of lower crustal gabbros from Atlantis Bank, Southwest Indian Ridge, constrain the growth and construction of oceanic crust at this slow-spreading midocean ridge. Approximately 75% of the gabbros accreted within error of the predicted seafloor magnetic age, whereas ???25% are significantly older. These anomalously old samples suggest either spatially varying stochastic intrusion at the ridge axis or, more likely, crystallization of older gabbros at depths of ???5 to 18 kilometers below the base of crust in the cold, axial lithosphere, which were uplifted and intruded by shallow-level magmas during the creation of Atlantis Bank.

  14. Age dependence and the effect of cracks on the seismic velocities of the upper oceanic crust

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cerney, Brian Patrick

    Seismic velocities in young (e.g., <1 Ma) upper oceanic crust increase with depth from ˜2.0 km s-1 at the top of the basaltic crust to ˜6.8 km s-1 at its base. Also, seismic velocities at the top of the upper oceanic crust increase with age, while the velocities at the base remain fairly constant. The increase in seismic velocities with depth and age in oceanic crust can be explained by the stiffening of cracks with increasing overburden pressure and infilling of pore space with alteration products. Both of these mechanisms increase the moduli of the igneous crust and thus raise its seismic velocities. Using the oblate spheroidal pore-shapes model of Kuster-Toksoz, laboratory measurements of P- and S-wave velocities, densities, and porosities of basaltic mini-cores from Hole 990A on the Southeast Greenland Margin show that pores can be effectively sealed by alteration products, and that the distribution of pore shapes is independent of porosity. Analyses of sonobuoy data collected over 0--7 Ma oceanic crust near the East Pacific Rise using the hidden layer method estimates seismic velocities of the upper oceanic crust. The results of sonobuoy analyses indicate that mean top-of-basement velocities and velocity gradients are 2.8 +/- 0.1 km s-1 and 2.7 +/- 0.1 s-1 respectively. Results also suggest that top-of-basement velocities increase at a rate of 0.12 +/- 0.05 km s-1 Ma-1 . A pressure-dependent asperity-deformation model describes the increase in seismic velocities with depth observed from the sonobuoy data. The asperity-deformation model incorporates a velocity variation of the form V( z) = V0 (1 + z/ z0)1/n, where z is depth, V0 is the velocity at the seafloor, and z 0 and n are constants. The asperity-deformation model describes how seismic velocities can increase with pressure simply through the stiffening of cracks without a need for a change in mineral moduli. The observed traveltimes are modeled to within an average root-mean-square misfit of 3.5 ms

  15. Forearc oceanic crust in the Izu-Bonin arc - new insights from active-source seismic survey -

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kodaira, S.; Noguchi, N.; Takahashi, N.; Ishizuka, O.; Kaneda, Y.

    2009-12-01

    Petrological studies have suggested that oceanic crust is formed in forearc areas during the initial stage of subduction. However, there is little geophysical evidence for the formation of oceanic crust in those regions. In order to examine crustal formation process associated with a subduction initiation process, we conducted an active-source seismic survey at a forearc region in the Izu-Bonin intra-oceanic arc. The resultant seismic image shows a remarkably thin crust (less than 10 km) at the northern half of the Bonin ridge (at the north of the Chichi-jima) and abrupt thickening the crust (~ 20 km thick) toward the south (at the Haha-jima). Comparison of velocity-depth profiles of the thin forearc crust of the Bonin ridge with those of typical oceanic crusts showed them to be seismologically identical. The observed structural variation also well corresponds to magmatic activities along the forearc. Boninitic magmatism is evident in the area of thin crust and tholeiitic-calcalkaline andesitic volcanism in the area of thick crust. Based on high precision dating studies of those volcanic rocks, we interpreted that the oceanic-type thin crust associated with boninitic volcanism has been created soon after the initiation of subduction (45-48 Ma) and and that the nonoceanic thick crust was created by tholeiitic-calcalkaline andesitic magmatism after the boninitic magmatism was ceased. The above seismological evidences strongly support the idea of forearc oceanic crust (or phiolite) created by forearc spreading in the initial stage of subduction along the intra-oceanic arc.

  16. Dismembered Archaean ophiolite in the southeastern Wind River Mountains, Wyoming: Remains of Archaean oceanic crust

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Harper, G. D.

    1986-01-01

    Archean mafic and ultramafic rocks occur in the southeastern Wind River Mountains near Atlantic City, Wyoming and are interpreted to represent a dismembered ophiolite suite. The ophiolitic rocks occur in a thin belt intruded by the 2.6 Ga Louis Lake Batholith on the northwest. On the southeast they are in fault contact with the Miners Delight Formation comprised primarily of metagraywackes with minor calc-alkaline volcanics. The ophiolitic and associated metasedimentry rocks (Goldman Meadows Formation) have been multiply deformed and metamorphosed. The most prominant structures are a pronounced steeply plunging stretching lineation and steeply dipping foliation. These structural data indicate that the ophiolitic and associated metasedimentary rocks have been deformed by simple shear. The ophiolitic rocks are interpreted as the remains of Archean oceanic crust, probably formed at either a mid-ocean ridge or back-arc basin. All the units of a complete ophiolite are present except for upper mantle periodotities. The absence of upper mantle rocks may be the result of detactment within the crust, rather than within the upper mantle, during emplacement. This could have been the result of a steeper geothermal gradient in the Archean oceanic lithosphere, or may have resulted from a thicker oceanic crust in the Archean.

  17. Small, monogenetic volcanoes: building blocks of the upper oceanic crust

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yeo, Isobel A.; Achenbach, Kay L.; Searle, Roger C.; Le Bas, Tim P.

    2010-05-01

    The study of slow-spreading mid-ocean ridge volcanism provides important insights into the mechanisms of oceanic crustal accretion. This study uses a combination of sidescan sonar and recently developed methods of high resolution bathymetry and video data collection to describe the volcanic features on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge axis at 45°N in more detail than has previously been possible. Within most axial valleys lie axial volcanic ridges (AVRs), linear volcanic features thought to be the focus of volcanism at slow spreading ridges. AVR volcanic morphologies have been described independently in a number of studies, through combinations of remote sensing (predominantly through the use of sidescan sonar) and deep towed cameras or submersibles. These different methods have led to classification of volcanic features on two very different scales. While the resolution of the sidescan sonar studies allows only for the identification and classification of features tens to hundreds of metres in size, the photographic and submersible studies describe features from centimetre to metre scale. Until now it has been difficult to reliably link these observations together as no intermediate sensing method has been available. This study uses 1m resolution ROV multibeam bathymetry to address this problem and link features identified at different scales together. We identify a prominent 22km long axial volcanic ridge within a 1km deep axial valley that ranges from 6 to 14km across. We find that 'hummocks' described in previous sidescan sonar studies (of which the AVR is composed) are individual, monogenetic volcanic cones. These cones range from 2 to 200m in height and 40 to 400m in diameter and we identify over 8000 of them on the surface of the AVR. We calculate the average volume of a cone to be 220,000m3 and estimate the AVR is built of approximately 73,000 such cones. We estimate these edifices form on time scales ranging from less than one hour to several months so are likely

  18. Deep structure in rifted crust at the ocean-continent margin in the northwestern Ross Sea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Selvans, M. M.; Clayton, R. W.; Stock, J. M.; Cande, S. C.; Davey, F. J.

    2010-12-01

    The Ross Sea contains several deep sedimentary basins which formed as a result of distributed extension in continental crust during Cenozoic and Cretaceous time. These basins contain sedimentary sequences that are laterally extensive across multiple basins, which in the western Ross Sea represent infill from erosion of the Transantarctic Mountains. The Northern Basin lies in the northwestern Ross Sea, and borders oceanic crust that includes the Adare Trough spreading center, active from 43 to 26 Ma. This area provides an ideal location to study the mechanisms by which strain localized in a spreading center is transferred to adjacent continental crust. Refraction seismic records from 74 sonobuoys with 20 to 30 km of offset were obtained in the Northern and Adare Basins during research cruise NBP0701; they complement the ~2,700 km of multi-channel seismic (MCS) data, by probing the deeper velocity structure of the crust and by providing direct detection of layer velocities. We use standard techniques including linear moveout and conversion of the data into τ-p space (intercept time and slowness) to determine layer depths and velocities; we also construct a finite difference model of each sonobuoy in order to recognize converted phases, confidently tie the refracted arrivals to the reflections from which they originate (which are then tied to the shallower MCS data), and constrain layers’ s-wave velocities. In further support of the hypothesis that volcanic intrusions contributed significantly to the process of extension in the Northern Basin, high crustal velocities do not appreciably deepen when moving from the Adare Basin into the Northern Basin, as would be expected when moving from oceanic to continental crust. We consistently detect high crustal velocities at only a few kilometers depth into the crust, implying that processes such as compaction and erosion of sediment layers and volcanic intrusion have a significant effect on crustal structure.

  19. Anaerobic Fungi: A Potential Source of Biological H2 in the Oceanic Crust

    PubMed Central

    Ivarsson, Magnus; Schnürer, Anna; Bengtson, Stefan; Neubeck, Anna

    2016-01-01

    The recent recognition of fungi in the oceanic igneous crust challenges the understanding of this environment as being exclusively prokaryotic and forces reconsiderations of the ecology of the deep biosphere. Anoxic provinces in the igneous crust are abundant and increase with age and depth of the crust. The presence of anaerobic fungi in deep-sea sediments and on the seafloor introduces a type of organism with attributes of geobiological significance not previously accounted for. Anaerobic fungi are best known from the rumen of herbivores where they produce molecular hydrogen, which in turn stimulates the growth of methanogens. The symbiotic cooperation between anaerobic fungi and methanogens in the rumen enhance the metabolic rate and growth of both. Methanogens and other hydrogen-consuming anaerobic archaea are known from subseafloor basalt; however, the abiotic production of hydrogen is questioned to be sufficient to support such communities. Alternatively, biologically produced hydrogen could serve as a continuous source. Here, we propose anaerobic fungi as a source of bioavailable hydrogen in the oceanic crust, and a close interplay between anaerobic fungi and hydrogen-driven prokaryotes. PMID:27433154

  20. Magnetization of the oceanic crust - Thermoremanent magnetization of chemical remanent magnetization?

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Raymond, C. A.; Labrecque, J. L.

    1987-01-01

    A model was proposed in which chemical remanent magnetization (CRM) acquired within the first 20 Ma of crustal evolution may account for 80 percent of the bulk natural remanent magnetization (NRM) of older basalts. The CRM of the crust is acquired as the original thermoremanent magnetization (TRM) is lost through low temperature alteration. The CRM intensity and direction are controlled by the post-emplacement polarity history. This model explains several independent observations concerning the magnetization of the oceanic crust. The model accounts for amplitude and skewness dicrepancies observed in both the intermediate wavelength satellite field and the short wavelength sea surface magnetic anomaly pattern. It also explains the decay of magnetization away from the spreading axis, and the enhanced magnetization of the Cretaceous Quiet Zones while predicting other systematic variations with age in the bulk magnetization of the oceanic crust. The model also explains discrepancies in the anomaly skewness parameter observed for anomalies of Cretaceous age. Further studies indicate varying rates of TRM decay in very young crust which depicts the advance of low temperature alteration through the magnetized layer.

  1. The role of black smokers in the Cu mass balance of the oceanic crust

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hannington, Mark D.

    2013-07-01

    Seafloor hydrothermal systems play an important role in the metal budgets of the oceans via hydrothermal plumes, accumulation of seafloor massive sulfide deposits, and alteration of the oceanic crust. These processes have resulted in large-scale metal anomalies on the Pacific plate, most notably at the Nazca-Pacific plate boundary. This plate-scale variability in metal deposition has important implications for the fluxes of metals to subduction zones and possibly the metal endowment of arc-related mineral deposits. However, the relative contributions to the metal budget from black smokers, deep-sea sediments, Mn nodules and altered crust remain unclear. The Cu contents of more than 10,000 samples of seafloor massive sulfide deposits, subseafloor stockwork mineralization, nodules and sediments reveal that most of the Cu metal originally mobilized by high-temperature hydrothermal convection at the ridges is retained in the crust as subseafloor alteration and mineralization, never reaching the seafloor. This metal accounts for at least 80% of the labile Cu that may be released to subduction fluids driven off a down-going slab. Copper deposited in deep-sea sediments, which account for 17% of the total budget, is derived in part from plume fallout associated with ridge-crest hydrothermal activity but also from pelagic deposition of marine organic matter enriched in Cu metal. Massive sulfide deposits, nodules and manganiferous crusts account for only ˜3% of the Cu metal of the subducting slab.

  2. Anaerobic Fungi: A Potential Source of Biological H2 in the Oceanic Crust.

    PubMed

    Ivarsson, Magnus; Schnürer, Anna; Bengtson, Stefan; Neubeck, Anna

    2016-01-01

    The recent recognition of fungi in the oceanic igneous crust challenges the understanding of this environment as being exclusively prokaryotic and forces reconsiderations of the ecology of the deep biosphere. Anoxic provinces in the igneous crust are abundant and increase with age and depth of the crust. The presence of anaerobic fungi in deep-sea sediments and on the seafloor introduces a type of organism with attributes of geobiological significance not previously accounted for. Anaerobic fungi are best known from the rumen of herbivores where they produce molecular hydrogen, which in turn stimulates the growth of methanogens. The symbiotic cooperation between anaerobic fungi and methanogens in the rumen enhance the metabolic rate and growth of both. Methanogens and other hydrogen-consuming anaerobic archaea are known from subseafloor basalt; however, the abiotic production of hydrogen is questioned to be sufficient to support such communities. Alternatively, biologically produced hydrogen could serve as a continuous source. Here, we propose anaerobic fungi as a source of bioavailable hydrogen in the oceanic crust, and a close interplay between anaerobic fungi and hydrogen-driven prokaryotes. PMID:27433154

  3. In situ Detection of Microbial Life in the Deep Biosphere in Igneous Ocean Crust

    PubMed Central

    Salas, Everett C.; Bhartia, Rohit; Anderson, Louise; Hug, William F.; Reid, Ray D.; Iturrino, Gerardo; Edwards, Katrina J.

    2015-01-01

    The deep biosphere is a major frontier to science. Recent studies have shown the presence and activity of cells in deep marine sediments and in the continental deep biosphere. Volcanic lavas in the deep ocean subsurface, through which substantial fluid flow occurs, present another potentially massive deep biosphere. We present results from the deployment of a novel in situ logging tool designed to detect microbial life harbored in a deep, native, borehole environment within igneous oceanic crust, using deep ultraviolet native fluorescence spectroscopy. Results demonstrate the predominance of microbial-like signatures within the borehole environment, with densities in the range of 105 cells/mL. Based on transport and flux models, we estimate that such a concentration of microbial cells could not be supported by transport through the crust, suggesting in situ growth of these communities. PMID:26617595

  4. In situ Detection of Microbial Life in the Deep Biosphere in Igneous Ocean Crust.

    PubMed

    Salas, Everett C; Bhartia, Rohit; Anderson, Louise; Hug, William F; Reid, Ray D; Iturrino, Gerardo; Edwards, Katrina J

    2015-01-01

    The deep biosphere is a major frontier to science. Recent studies have shown the presence and activity of cells in deep marine sediments and in the continental deep biosphere. Volcanic lavas in the deep ocean subsurface, through which substantial fluid flow occurs, present another potentially massive deep biosphere. We present results from the deployment of a novel in situ logging tool designed to detect microbial life harbored in a deep, native, borehole environment within igneous oceanic crust, using deep ultraviolet native fluorescence spectroscopy. Results demonstrate the predominance of microbial-like signatures within the borehole environment, with densities in the range of 10(5) cells/mL. Based on transport and flux models, we estimate that such a concentration of microbial cells could not be supported by transport through the crust, suggesting in situ growth of these communities. PMID:26617595

  5. Detecting the Deep-Biosphere in-Situ within Igneous Ocean Crust

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Edwards, K. J.

    2014-12-01

    The deep biosphere is a major frontier to science. Recent studies have shown the presence and activity of cells in deep marine sediments and in the continental deep biosphere. Volcanic lavas in the deep ocean subsurface, through which substantial fluid flow occurs, present another potentially massive deep biosphere. We present results from the deployment of a novel in-situ logging tool designed to detect microbial life harbored in a deep, native, borehole environment within igneous oceanic crust, using deep ultraviolet native fluorescence spectroscopy. Results demonstrate the predominance of microbial-like signatures within the borehole environment, with densities in the range of 105 cells/mL. Based on transport and flux models, we estimate that such a concentration of microbial cells could not be supported by transport through the crust, suggesting in situ growth of these communities.

  6. Characteristic features of ore gabbro formation in the third layer of the oceanic crust

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Eskin, A. E.

    2009-07-01

    Peculiarities of ore gabbro formation in slow-spreading mid-ocean ridges exemplified by the non-transform Sierra Leone fault and Marathon fault areas are considered. The formation of ore gabbros is most often connected with the rheologically weakened oceanic lithosphere mainly with active fault zones, in which basic magmatic melts intruded. Those faults provide ways for migration of differentiated melts at different depth levels. When intruding and moving along fault zones, melts interacting with the mantle and crust host rocks are often already hydrated. Such interaction occurs largely in conditions of subsolidus deformations resulting in enrichment of melts with volatile components.

  7. Structure of modern oceanic crust and ophiolites and implications for faulting and magmatism at oceanic spreading centers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dilek, Yildirim; Moores, Eldridge M.; Furnes, Harald

    A review of the internal structure of the upper and lower crust in modern oceanic lithosphere and in well-preserved ophiolites leads to some conclusions on the nature of interactions between magmatism and faulting during the construction of oceanic lithosphere at spreading centers. Sheeted dike complexes are made of subparallel vertical intrusions of magma parallel to the axial plane of an oceanic spreading center, and they display structures whose nature are strongly controlled by the mode of and interplay between magmatism and faulting at different seafloor spreading rates. Drilled core samples from the slow-spreading MARK area and Site 735B (Southwest Indian Ridge) record a complex history of solid-state deformation and attendant alteration of the lower crust at temperatures in excess of 700°C and continuing down to 180°C. Ductile shear zones, brittle faults, and detachment surfaces observed in the core samples and on the seafloor consistently indicate normal sense of shearing associated with tectonic extension and crustal stretching. Gabbroic rocks and serpentinized peridotites are exposed on the seafloor in the MARK area, suggesting that upper crustal units have been stripped away due to amagmatic extension. The sheeted dike complex of the intermediate-spreading oceanic crust along the Costa Rica Rift displays intense microfracturing at discrete depth intervals, as observed in ODP cores, that are possibly associated with faults or localized deformation zones. The seismic layer 2/3 boundary occurs within the sheeted dike complex and corresponds to changes in physical properties over a depth interval, rather than to the presence of a lithological change from dikes to gabbros. The dike-gabbro boundary is probably tectonic, corresponding to the fault zone drilled into in the borehole and coincides with one of the half-graben bounding and gently dipping normal faults depicted on single channel seismic reflection profiles. The fast-spreading oceanic crust drilled

  8. Reconstructing Ophiolites: Reassessing Assumptions From the Oceanic Crust and Related Terranes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Karson, J. A.

    2014-12-01

    The internal structure of ophiolite complexes has long been used as a window into the inaccessible parts of the oceanic lithosphere and by inference, processes beneath spreading centers. However, even the best preserved ophiolite complexes have been tilted, folded, faulting and dismembered during post-spreading tectonic events. Some degree of reconstruction is required to restore ophiolite structures to their appropriate relative orientations in order to relate them to processes beneath spreading centers. A number of assumptions about ophiolite structures have been used to guide reconstructions including: lava flows (horizontal, especially sheet-like lavas), dikes in lavas and sheeted dike complexes (vertical and parallel to spreading centers), the contacts between major rock units (horizontal, analogous to the seismic structure of oceanic crust) and the mafic/ultramafic contact representing the geologic expression of the Moho (horizontal). Based in part on these assumptions the internal structure of rock units, metamorphic relationships, and the kinematics of faults and deformation fabrics are also inferred. The spreading direction is seldom constrained in ophiolites making it difficult to assess the geometry of asymmetrical features, such as the dip of dikes, faults, or igneous layering, relative to spreading axes. Observations from exposures of upper crustal rock units (lavas, transition zones, dike and upper gabbroic rocks) along major tectonic escarpments in oceanic crust formed at fast to intermediate rates, as well as the uplifted and glaciated Tertiary basaltic crust of Iceland, raise questions about several of the assumptions used in ophiolite reconstructions. Alternative reconstructions may provide new ideas about spreading processes.

  9. Chemical composition of ferromanganese crusts in the world ocean: a review and comprehensive database

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Manheim, Frank T.; Lane-Bostwick, Candice M.

    1989-01-01

    A comprehensive database of chemical and mineralogical properties for ferromanganese crusts collected throughout the Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian Oceans, and has been assembled from published and unpublished sources which provide collection and analytical information for these samples. These crusts, their chemical compositions and natural distribution, have been a topic of interest to scientific research, as well as to industrial and military applications. Unlike abyssal ferromanganese nodules, which form in areas of low disturbance and high sediment accumulation, crusts have been found to contain three to five times more cobalt than these nodules, and can be found on harder, steeper substrates which can be too steep for permanent sediment accumulation. They have also been documented on seamounts and plateaus within the U.S. exclusive economic zone in both Pacific and Atlantic Oceans, and these are therefore of strategic importance to the United States Government, as well as to civilian mining and metallurgical industries. The data tables provided in this report have been digitized and previously uploaded to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration National Geophysical Data Center in 1991 for online distribution, and were provided in plain text format. The 2014 update to the original U.S. Geological Survey open-file report published in 1989 provides these data tables in a slightly reformatted version to make them easier to ingest into geographic information system software, converted to shapefiles, and have completed metadata written and associated with them.

  10. Melt flow and hypersolidus deformation in the lower ocean crust: Preliminary observations from IODP Leg 345

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Snow, J. E.; Koepke, J.; Falloon, T.; Abe, N.; Hoshide, T.; Akizawa, N.; Maeda, J.; Jean, M. M.; Cheadle, M. J.

    2013-12-01

    Models for the construction of the fast-spreading lower ocean crust include the gabbro glacier model (GGM), in which most crystallization occurs within a shallow melt lens and the resulting crystal mush subsides downwards and outwards by crystal sliding. Second, the Sheeted Sill Model (SSM) predicts magmatic injection at many levels in the crust, and requires rapid cooling of the lithosphere. A second set of models seeks to reconcile the relatively unevolved nature of most MORB with the existence of an extensive lower crust with both layering (in the lower crust) and highly evolved gabbros (in the upper plutonic sequence). The mechanisms involved here are melt aggregation during vertical porous flow in the lower crust as opposed to lateral sill injection and in-situ crystallization. Here we report new observations from IODP Expedition 345 to the Hess Deep Rift, where propagation of the Cocos Nazca Ridge (CNR) into young, fast-spreading East Pacific Rise (EPR) crust exposes a dismembered lower crustal section. Drilling in ~4850 m water depth produced 3 holes of 35 to 100 mbsf with ~30% recovery of primitive (Mg# 79-87) plutonic lithologies including troctolite, olivine gabbro, and olivine gabbronorite, showing cumulate textures found in layered mafic intrusions and some ophiolite complexes including: 1. Spectacular modal layering 2. Orthopyroxene very early on the liquidus compared to canonical MORB. 3. Delicate large (2-5 cm) skeletal and hopper structures in olivine. 4. Oikocrystic clinopyroxene enclosing chadacrysts different from the host assemblage. These complex relationships are only hinted at in the existing observations from the ocean floor, and will require significant lab study, however some preliminary inferences can be drawn from the petrographic observations. First, the textures observed in olivine throughout the cores are consistent with rapid crystallization, possibly due to steep thermal gradients in the lower crust. They occur early in the

  11. Seismic structure of the North Pacific oceanic crust prior plate bending at the Alaska subduction zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Becel, A.; Shillington, D. J.; Nedimovic, M. R.; Kuehn, H.; Webb, S. C.; Holtzman, B. K.

    2012-12-01

    Seismic reflection profiles across North Pacific oceanic Plate reveal the internal structure of a mature oceanic crust (42-56Ma) formed at fast (70mm/yr, half rate) to intermediate (28mm/yr, half rate) spreading rates. Data used in this study were collected with the R/V Langseth in summer 2011 as part of the ALEUT (Alaska Langseth Experiment to Understand the megathrust) program. MCS data were acquired with two 8-km streamers and a 6600 cu. in. air gun array. We collected a series of profiles across the subduction zone system but also across the preexisting structures of the oceanic crust before being affected by subduction zone processes. Additionally, two 400-km OBS refraction lines were shot coincident with MCS profiles. The multi-channel seismic (MCS) data across oceanic crust formed at fast spreading rates contain abundant bright reflectors mostly confined in the lower crust above the Moho discontinuity and dipping predominantly toward the paleo-ridge. Along these profiles, the Moho discontinuity is observed as a bright event with remarkable lateral continuity. The lengths of the dipping reflectors are on the order of 5-km, with apparent dips between 10 and 30°. These reflectors represent discrete events, with spacing between 0.3 to 5 km without any obvious regularity. These dipping events appear to sole out within the middle crust (1 to 1.5 s beneath basement) and most of them terminate at the Moho. The Moho is much weaker or absent on the northern profiles acquired across the North Pacific oceanic crust formed at intermediate spreading rates. Basement topography is rougher and no clear dipping events have been imaged suggesting that the spreading rate may be an important factor that controls the strength and abundance of such dipping reflectors and the lateral change in the Moho reflection characters. Lower crustal dipping reflections (LCDR) have been only imaged at very few places across the Pacific oceanic crust: (Eittreim et al., 1988, Reston et al. 1999

  12. Oceanic crust of the Grenada Basin in the Southern Lesser Antilles Arc Platform

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Speed, R. C.; Walker, J. A.

    1991-03-01

    Seismic refraction data permit the southern Lesser Antilles arc and surrounding regions to be divided by the velocity of their basement. We propose that high-velocity basement of the arc platform beneath the Grenadine islands and below a part of the Tobago Trough forearc basin is oceanic and continuous and was originally connected with oceanic crust of the Grenada Basin. Low-velocity basements of the Tobago terrane and the arc platform from St. Vincent north lie south and north, respectively, of the high-velocity basement of the arc platform. An oceanic origin of this high-velocity crust in the Grenadines is argued to be more plausible than an origin as unroofed lower arc crust. The segment of probable oceanic crust in the arc platform was greatly uplifted during development of the present island arc, mainly in late Neogene time, relative to the Grenada Basin and Tobago Trough. Accepting the proposition of shallow oceanic crust in the Grenadines, early middle Eocene and possibly older pillow basalts of Mayreau, the oldest rock unit of the southern Lesser Antilles arc platform, may be an exposure of such basement. Major and minor element compositions of Mayreau Basalt are indicative of a spreading rather than arc origin. The stratigraphy of the pillow basalts indicates extrusion in an open marine environment, distant or shielded from sources of arc or continental sediment, followed by a period of pelagic sedimentation above the carbonate compensation depth. The Eocene basalt and pelagic cover formed a relatively deep floor of a marine basin in which arc-derived turbidites and pelagic sediments accumulated over the succeeding 25-30 ma. Such basalts thus indicate a probable spreading origin of the Grenada Basin and an age of cessation of spreading in the region of Mayreau in Eocene time. The configuration of the Eocene basin and the direction of spreading, however, are unknowns. Regional structural relationships imply the spreading was probably backarc, an origin also

  13. Comparison of Lunar Basalts and Gabbros with those of the Terrestrial Ocean Crust

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Natland, J. H.

    2012-12-01

    Initial studies of lunar samples returned from the Apollo and Luna missions took place before rocks of the Earth's lower ocean crust, chiefly varieties of gabbro cumulates, were widely known or understood. Continuing exploration of the ocean crust invites some new comparisons. When volcanic rocks and glass from Apollo 11 and 17 were discovered to have very high TiO2 contents (8-14%), nothing comparable was known from Earth. The high-TiO2 lunar samples were soon described as primary melts derived from considerable depths in the lunar mantle. Other lunar samples have only very low TiO2 contents (~0.2%) and very low concentrations of highly incompatible elements such as Zr and Sr. Today, dredging and drilling results indicate that oxide gabbros rich in magmatic oxides and sulfides and with up to 12% TiO2 comprise a significant percentage of the gabbroic portion of the ocean crust especially at slowly spreading ridges. These are very late stage differentiates, and are commonly juxtaposed by high-temperature deformation processes with more primitive olivine gabbros and troctolites having only ~0.2% TiO2 and low concentrations of Zr and other incompatible elements. The rocks are mainly adcumulates, with very low concentrations of incompatible elements set by proportions of cumulus minerals, and with little contribution from the liquids that produced them. In addition, some lunar gabbros with highly calcic plagioclase (~An93-98) are similar to gabbros and troctolites found in island arcs. All of these similarities suggest that very few lunar basaltic rocks are pristine; instead they all could be nearly complete shock fusion products produced by meteorite impact into a diverse assemblage of lunar gabbros that included both low- and high-TiO2 gabbroic facies. On this hypothesis, no lunar basalt is a primary melt derived from the Moon's mantle. Although magmatic environments on the ancient Moon and in the modern ocean crust were different in important ways, the general

  14. IODP Expedition 345: Primitive Layered Gabbros From Fast-Spreading Lower Oceanic Crust

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ildefonse, Benoit; Gillis, Kathryn M.; Snow, Jonathan E.; Klaus, Adam

    2014-05-01

    Three-quarters of the ocean crust formed at fast-spreading ridges is composed of plutonic rocks whose mineral assemblages, textures and compositions record the history of melt transport and crystallization between the mantle and the seafloor. However, owing to the nearly continuous overlying extrusive upper crust, sampling in situ the lower crust is challenging. Hence, models for understanding the formation of the lower crust are based essentially on geophysical studies and ophiolites. Integrated Ocean Drilling Program (IODP) Expedition 345 recovered the first significant sections of primitive, modally layered gabbroic rocks from the lowermost plutonic crust formed at a fast-spreading ridge, and exposed at the Hess Deep Rift (Gillis et al., Nature, 2014, doi:10.1038/nature12778). Drilling Site U1415 is located along the southern slope of the intrarift ridge. The primary science results were obtained from coring of two ~110 m deep reentry holes and one 35-m-deep single-bit hole, all co-located within an ~100-m-wide area. Olivine gabbro and troctolite are the dominant plutonic rock types recovered, with minor gabbro, clinopyroxene oikocryst-bearing gabbroic rocks, and gabbronorite. All rock types are primitive to moderately evolved, with Mg# 89-76, and exhibit cumulate textures similar to ones found in layered mafic intrusions and some ophiolites. Spectacular modal and grain size layering, prevalent in >50% of the recovered core, confirm a long held paradigm that such rocks are a key constituent of the lowermost ocean crust formed at fast-spreading ridges. Magmatic foliation is largely defined by the shape-preferred orientation of plagioclase. It is moderate to strong in intervals with simple modal layering but weak to absent in troctolitic intervals and typically absent in intervals with heterogeneous textures and/or diffuse banding. Geochemical analysis of these primitive lower plutonics, in combination with previous geochemical data for shallow-level plutonics

  15. Investigating Compositional Links Between Arc Magmas And The Subducted Altered Oceanic Crust

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Straub, S. M.

    2015-12-01

    Arc magmatism is causally related to the recycling of materials from the subducting plate. Numerous studies showed that the recycled material flux is dominated by recycled continental crust (oceanic sediment, eroded crust) and altered oceanic igneous crust (AOC). The crustal component is highly enriched, and thus its signal in arc magmas can readily be distinguished from mantle wedge contributions. In contrast, the impact of the AOC flux is much more difficult to detect, since the AOC isotopically resembles the mantle. Mass balance studies of arc input and output suggest that the recycled flux from the thick (6000 meter on average) AOC may buffer the flux of the recycled continental crust to the point of concealment in arc settings where the latter is volumetrically minor. In particular, highly fluid- mobile elements Sr and Pb in arc magmas are strongly influenced by the AOC, implying that the arc chemistry may allow for inferring the Sr and Pb isotopic composition of the subducted AOC. This hypothesis is being tested by a compilation of published data of high-quality trace element and isotope compositions from global arcs. In agreement with previous studies, our results confirm that the Sr-rich fluids released from the AOC control the arc Sr isotopes, whereby the slightly elevated 87Sr/86Sr (up to 0.705) of many arcs may principally reflect the similarly elevated Sr isotope ratios of the AOC rather than a recycled crustal component. In contrast, the arc Pb isotope ratios are influenced by both the AOC and the recycled crustal component which create the typical binary mixing arrays. These arrays should then point to the Pb isotope composition of the AOC and the recycled crust, respectively. However, as the proportions of these end members may strongly vary in arc magmas, the exact 206Pb/204Pb of the subducted AOC in a given setting is challenging. Remarkably, the Pb isotope systematics from well-constrained western Aleutian (minimal sediment subduction) and central

  16. Osmium isotope variations in the oceans recorded by Fe-Mn crusts

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Burton, K.W.; Bourdon, B.; Birck, J.-L.; Allegre, C.J.; Hein, J.R.

    1999-01-01

    This study presents osmium (Os) isotope data for recent growth surfaces of hydrogenetic ferromanganese (Fe-Mn) crusts from the Pacific, Atlantic and Indian Oceans. In general, these data indicate a relatively uniform Os isotopic composition for modern seawater, but suggest that North Atlantic seawater is slightly more radiogenic than that of the Pacific and Indian Oceans. The systematic difference in the Os isotopic composition between the major oceans probably reflects a greater input of old continental material with a high Re/Os ratio in the North Atlantic Ocean, consistent with the distribution of Nd and Pb isotopes. This spatial variation in the Os isotope composition in seawater is consistent with a residence time for Os of between 2 and 60 kyr. Indian Ocean samples show no evidence of a local source of radiogenic Os, which suggests that the present-day riverine input from the Himalaya-Tibet region is not a major source for Os. Recently formed Fe-Mn crusts from the TAG hydrothermal field in the North Atlantic yield an Os isotopic composition close to that of modern seawater, which indicates that, in this area, the input of unradiogenic Os from the hydrothermal alteration of oceanic crust is small. However, some samples from the deep Pacific (???4 km) possess a remarkably unradiogenic Os isotope composition (187Os/186Os ratios as low as 4.3). The compositional control of Os incorporation into the crusts and mixing relationships suggest that this unradiogenic composition is most likely due to the direct incorporation of micrometeoritic or abyssal peridotite particles, rather than indicating the presence of an unradiogenic deep-water mass. Moreover, this unradiogenic signal appears to be temporary, and local, and has had little apparent effect on the overall evolution of seawater. These results confirm that input of continental material through erosion is the dominant source of Os in seawater, but it is not clear whether global Os variations are due to the input

  17. Metastable garnet in oceanic crust at the top of the lower mantle.

    PubMed

    Kubo, Tomoaki; Ohtani, Eiji; Kondo, Tadashi; Kato, Takumi; Toma, Motomasa; Hosoya, Tomofumi; Sano, Asami; Kikegawa, Takumi; Nagase, Toshiro

    As oceanic tectonic plates descend into the Earth's lower mantle, garnet (in the basaltic crust) and silicate spinel (in the underlying peridotite layer) each decompose to form silicate perovskite-the 'post-garnet' and 'post-spinel' transformations, respectively. Recent phase equilibrium studies have shown that the post-garnet transformation occurs in the shallow lower mantle in a cold slab, rather than at approximately 800 km depth as earlier studies indicated, with the implication that the subducted basaltic crust is unlikely to become buoyant enough to delaminate as it enters the lower mantle. But here we report results of a kinetic study of the post-garnet transformation, obtained from in situ X-ray observations using sintered diamond anvils, which show that the kinetics of the post-garnet transformation are significantly slower than for the post-spinel transformation. Although metastable spinel quickly breaks down at a temperature of 1,000 K, we estimate that metastable garnet should survive of the order of 10 Myr even at 1,600 K. Accordingly, the expectation of where the subducted oceanic crust would be buoyant spans a much wider depth range at the top of the lower mantle, when transformation kinetics are taken into account. PMID:12490946

  18. Seismic constraints on the hydration of subducting oceanic crust and mantle

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Garth, T.; Rietbrock, A.

    2014-12-01

    It is widely accepted that large amounts of water are delivered to the mantle through subduction. Some water is carried in the hydrated minerals in the oceanic crust, and is released to the mantle through dehydration reactions as the slab becomes warmer. It is also thought that the subducting lithospheric mantle is highly hydrated, and carries large amounts of water to the crust. There are however few observational constraints on the depth to which this water is delivered by the hydrated subducting slab, and the amount of water delivered to the mantle. Subduction zone guided waves spend longer interacting with the low velocity hydrous mineral assemblages than any other seismic phase, as so give us a unique opportunity to put new constraints on these features of the subduction zone. We use full waveform seismic modelling techniques to constrain these dispersed arrivals, and so image the velocity structure of the slab. This technique gives an observational constraint on both the hydration of the slab, and the onset of dehydration reactions. We have shown that both low velocity subducted oceanic crust, and low velocity outer rise normal faults that penetrate the lithospheric mantle can act as effective waveguides producing characteristic body wave dispersion. Analysis of the spatial coda decay associated with intermediate depth earthquakes recorded in Northern Japan suggest that these hydrated normal faults may in fact carry the majority of the water transported by the subducting slab to the mantle. Seismic constraints on the dehydration reactions occurring in the subducted oceanic crust also show that full dehydration may occur at much greater depth than predicted by current thermo petrological models, meaning that water may be carried to greater depths than previously thought. Together these methods suggest that much more water is delivered to the mantle by subduction than has previously been suggested, and that water may be carried to greater depths in the mantle

  19. Seismic structure of the crust and uppermost mantle of South America and surrounding oceanic basins

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Chulick, Gary S.; Detweiler, Shane; Mooney, Walter D.

    2013-01-01

    We present a new set of contour maps of the seismic structure of South America and the surrounding ocean basins. These maps include new data, helping to constrain crustal thickness, whole-crustal average P-wave and S-wave velocity, and the seismic velocity of the uppermost mantle (Pn and Sn). We find that: (1) The weighted average thickness of the crust under South America is 38.17 km (standard deviation, s.d. ±8.7 km), which is ∼1 km thinner than the global average of 39.2 km (s.d. ±8.5 km) for continental crust. (2) Histograms of whole-crustal P-wave velocities for the South American crust are bi-modal, with the lower peak occurring for crust that appears to be missing a high-velocity (6.9–7.3 km/s) lower crustal layer. (3) The average P-wave velocity of the crystalline crust (Pcc) is 6.47 km/s (s.d. ±0.25 km/s). This is essentially identical to the global average of 6.45 km/s. (4) The average Pn velocity beneath South America is 8.00 km/s (s.d. ±0.23 km/s), slightly lower than the global average of 8.07 km/s. (5) A region across northern Chile and northeast Argentina has anomalously low P- and S-wave velocities in the crust. Geographically, this corresponds to the shallowly-subducted portion of the Nazca plate (the Pampean flat slab first described by Isacks et al., 1968), which is also a region of crustal extension. (6) The thick crust of the Brazilian craton appears to extend into Venezuela and Colombia. (7) The crust in the Amazon basin and along the western edge of the Brazilian craton may be thinned by extension. (8) The average crustal P-wave velocity under the eastern Pacific seafloor is higher than under the western Atlantic seafloor, most likely due to the thicker sediment layer on the older Atlantic seafloor.

  20. Hydrothermal and tectonic processes recorded in fault rocks from the upper oceanic crust

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Browne, C. M.; Hayman, N. W.

    2011-12-01

    Faulting and fracturing along mid-ocean ridges play a crucial role in hydrothermal systems and the mechanical behavior of the oceanic crust. Fault and fracture systems resulting from explosive hydrothermal events may differ in permeability and mechanical strength from those that accommodate axial extension. To explore the potential differences, images and samples have been investigated from a range of spreading environments, including the Hess and Pito Deep rifts in East Pacific Rise-spread crust, the SMARK area (22°N) on the Mid Atlantic Ridge, the Troodos Ophiolite, and the Icelandic rift system. These exposures of lavas and dikes contain fault-zone units with contrasting lithologic and mechanical properties and geochemical compositions. To further understand the deformation mechanisms of ocean crustal faulting, image analysis of the fault-zone units from micro- to meso-scales provides a quantitative assessment of grain size, orientation, and fracture density. A key measure is the Particle Size Distribution (PSD), found in continental fault rocks to be a power-law probability function distribution reflecting incremental grain fracture. However, the PSDs of ocean crustal fault rocks are not power law, suggesting a departure from continental fault-zone deformation patterns. Controls on PSD in ocean crustal fault rocks include the initial fracture development in otherwise massive basalts, importance of fluid-rock interaction, and distinctive tectonic strain and stress conditions for seafloor spreading. Here it is further suggested that structures resulting from intense hydrothermal activity may result from different brittle deformation mechanisms (and thereby have different PSDs and SPOs) than those resulting from dominantly tectonic strain. Identifying these different mechanisms of ocean crustal fault-zone deformation establishes length scales, grain-scale deformation mechanisms, the geologic record of fluid-rock interaction, and could lead to in situ constraints

  1. Growth response of a deep-water ferromanganese crust to evolution of the Neogene Indian Ocean

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Banakar, V.K.; Hein, J.R.

    2000-01-01

    A deep-water ferromanganese crust from a Central Indian Ocean seamount dated previously by 10Be and 230Th(excess) was studied for compositional and textural variations that occurred throughout its growth history. The 10Be/9Be dated interval (upper 32 mm) yields an uniform growth rate of 2.8 ?? 0.1 mm/Ma [Frank, M., O'Nions, R.K., 1998. Sources of Pb for Indian Ocean ferromanganese crusts: a record of Himalayan erosion. Earth Planet. Sci. Lett., 158, pp. 121-130.] which gives an extrapolated age of ~ 26 Ma for the base of the crust at 72 mm and is comparable to the maximum age derived from the Co-model based growth rate estimates. This study shows that Fe-Mn oxyhydroxide precipitation did not occur from the time of emplacement of the seamount during the Eocene (~ 53 Ma) until the late Oligocene (~ 26 Ma). This paucity probably was the result of a nearly overlapping palaeo-CCD and palaeo-depth of crust formation, increased early Eocene productivity, instability and reworking of the surface rocks on the flanks of the seamount, and lack of oxic deep-water in the nascent Indian Ocean. Crust accretion began (older zone) with the formation of isolated cusps of Fe-Mn oxide during a time of high detritus influx, probably due to the early-Miocene intense erosion associated with maximum exhumation of the Himalayas (op. cit.). This cuspate textured zone extends from 72 mm to 42 mm representing the early-Miocene period. Intense polar cooling and increased mixing of deep and intermediate waters at the close of the Oligocene might have led to the increased oxygenation of the bottom-water in the basin. A considerable expansion in the vertical distance between the seafloor depth and the CCD during the early Miocene in addition to the influx of oxygenated bottom-water likely initiated Fe-Mn crust formation. Pillar structure characterises the younger zone, which extends from 40 mm to the surface of the crust, i.e., ~ 15 Ma to Present. This zone is characterised by > 25% higher

  2. IODP Exp 345: Primitive Layered Gabbros From Fast-Spreading Lower Oceanic Crust

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gillis, K. M.; Snow, J. E.; Klaus, A.

    2013-12-01

    Plutonic rocks from the lower ocean crust formed at fast-spreading ridges provide a record of the history of melt transport and crystallization between the mantle and the seafloor. Despite the significance of these rocks, sampling them in situ has proven extremely challenging. This means our models for understanding the formation of the lower crust are based largely on geophysical studies and ophiolites that did not form at typical mid-ocean ridges. Integrated Ocean Drilling Program (IODP) Expedition 345 recovered the first significant recovery of primitive modally layered gabbroic rocks from the lowermost plutonic crust from a fast-spreading ridge exposed at the Hess Deep Rift. Drilling was focused at Site U1415, located along the southern slope of the intrarift ridge. The primary science results were obtained from coring of two ~110 m deep reentry holes and one 35-m-deep single-bit hole, all co-located within an ~100-m-wide area. Olivine gabbro and troctolite are the dominant plutonic rock types recovered, with minor gabbro, clinopyroxene oikocryst-bearing gabbroic lithologies, and gabbronorite. All rock types are primitive (Mg# 76-89) and exhibit cumulate textures similar to ones found in layered mafic intrusions and some ophiolite complexes. Spectacular modal and grain size layering, prevalent in >50% of the recovered core, confirm a long held paradigm that such rocks are a key constituent of the lowermost ocean crust formed at fast-spreading ridges. Magmatic foliation is largely defined by the shape-preferred orientation of plagioclase. It is moderate to strong in intervals with simple modal layering but weak to absent in troctolitic intervals and typically absent in intervals with heterogeneous textures and/or diffuse banding. Geochemical analysis of these primitive lower plutonics, in combination with previous geochemical data for shallow-level plutonics, sheeted dikes and lavas, provides the first robust estimate of the bulk composition of crust formed at a

  3. Pliocene granodioritic knoll with continental crust affinities discovered in the intra-oceanic Izu-Bonin-Mariana Arc: Syntectonic granitic crust formation during back-arc rifting

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tani, Kenichiro; Dunkley, Daniel J.; Chang, Qing; Nichols, Alexander R. L.; Shukuno, Hiroshi; Hirahara, Yuka; Ishizuka, Osamu; Arima, Makoto; Tatsumi, Yoshiyuki

    2015-08-01

    A widely held hypothesis is that modern continental crust of an intermediate (i.e. andesitic) bulk composition forms at intra-oceanic arcs through subduction zone magmatism. However, there is a critical paradox in this hypothesis: to date, the dominant granitic rocks discovered in these arcs are tonalite, rocks that are significantly depleted in incompatible (i.e. magma-preferred) elements and do not geochemically and petrographically represent those of the continents. Here we describe the discovery of a submarine knoll, the Daisan-West Sumisu Knoll, situated in the rear-arc region of the intra-oceanic Izu-Bonin-Mariana Arc. Remotely-operated vehicle surveys reveal that this knoll is made up entirely of a 2.6 million year old porphyritic to equigranular granodiorite intrusion with a geochemical signature typical of continental crust. We present a model of granodiorite magma formation that involves partial remelting of enriched mafic rear-arc crust during the initial phase of back-arc rifting, which is supported by the preservation of relic cores inherited from initial rear-arc source rocks within magmatic zircon crystals. The strong extensional tectonic regime at the time of intrusion may have allowed the granodioritic magma to be emplaced at an extremely shallow level, with later erosion of sediment and volcanic covers exposing the internal plutonic body. These findings suggest that rear-arc regions could be the potential sites of continental crust formation in intra-oceanic convergent margins.

  4. Physical Properties and Seismic Structure of Izu-Bonin-Mariana Fore Arc crust: Results From IODP Expedition 352 and Comparison with Oceanic Crust

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Christeson, G. L.; Morgan, S.; Kodaira, S.; Yamashita, M.

    2015-12-01

    Most of the well-preserved ophiolite complexes are believed to form in supra-subduction zone settings. One of the goals of IODP Expedition 352 was to test the supra-subduction zone ophiolite model by drilling forearc crust at the northern Izu-Bonin-Mariana (IBM) system. IBM forearc drilling successfully cored 1.22 km of volcanic lavas and underlying dikes at four sites. A surprising observation is that basement compressional velocities measured from downhole logging average ~3.0 km/s, compared to values of 5 km/s at similar basement depths at oceanic crust sites 504B and 1256D. Typically there is an inverse relationship in extrusive lavas between velocity and porosity, but downhole logging shows similar porosities for the IBM and oceanic crust sites, despite the large difference in measured compressional velocities. These observations can be explained by a difference in crack morphologies between IBM forearc and oceanic crust, with a smaller fractional area of asperity contact across cracks at EXP 352 sites than at sites 504B and 1256D. Seismic profiles at the IBM forearc image many faults, which may be related to the crack population.

  5. Effects of Canary hotspot volcanism on structure of oceanic crust off Morocco

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Holik, James S.; Rabinowitz, Philip D.; Austin, James A., Jr.

    1991-07-01

    Analysis of over 6400 km of multichannel seismics (MCS) and 50 sonobuoy reflection and refraction experiments reduced both in the domain of X-T and tau-p shows that a region within the Jurassic Quiet Zone off Morocco underwent dramatic changes as a result of the passage of the lithosphere over the Canary hotspot commencing approximately 60 Ma. A seismic unit (UCF), interpreted as volcanic in origin, is observed within the sediments in a region characterized by a broad bathymetric swell. It shows diffractions from its upper surface and an internally chaotic seismic facies and pinches out between sedimentary units of continuous, subparallel facies. A velocity inversion is noted between the UCF (4.7km/s) and the underlying sediment (3.1 km/s). The UCF is time transgressive; it lies near the Cretaceous/s Tertiary boundary in the northern portion of the study area and is younger to the south. Kinematic studies of the movement of the Canary hotspot relative to Africa show that the hotspot first appeared off NW Africa about 60 Ma and was located beneath oceanic crust in the region where the UCF is observed. Depth-to-basement measurements in areas not effected by the hotspot show a consistent linear trend of increased depth with age. In areas effected by the hotspot the thermal rejuvenation is evident as basement depths shoal with increased proximity to the present hotspot. The reheating of the crust resets the thermal age of the lithosphere with many of the properties of crust of a younger age. Subsidence curves of the reheated crust off Morocco show good correlation to subsidence curves of other reheated crust on a global basis. A zone characterized by high crustal velocities, (7.1-7.4 km/s) and greater crustal thicknesses (by ˜1-2 km) is observed in an area that corresponds to the bathymetric swell, the region of the UCF, and the reelevated basement. The high velocities and increased crustal thickness are interpreted to be the result of underplating and assimilation of

  6. Petrogenesis and structure of oceanic crust in the Lau back-arc basin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Eason, Deborah E.; Dunn, Robert A.

    2015-11-01

    Oceanic crust formed along spreading centers in the Lau back-arc basin exhibits a dramatic change in structure and composition with proximity to the nearby Tofua Arc. Results from recent seismic studies in the basin indicate that crust formed near the Tofua Arc is abnormally thick (8-9 km) and compositionally stratified, with a thick low-velocity (3.4-4.5 km/s) upper crust and an abnormally high-velocity (7.2-7.4+ km/s) lower crust (Arai and Dunn, 2014). Lava samples from this area show arc-like compositional enrichments and tend to be more vesicular and differentiated than typical mid-ocean ridge basalts, with an average MgO of ∼3.8 wt.%. We propose that slab-derived water entrained in the near-arc ridge system not only enhances mantle melting, as commonly proposed to explain high crustal production in back-arc environments, but also affects magmatic differentiation and crustal accretion processes. We present a petrologic model of Lau back-arc crustal formation that successfully predicts the unusual crustal stratification imaged in the near-arc regions of the Lau basin, as well as the highly fractionated basaltic andesites and andesites that erupt there. Results from phase equilibria modeling using MELTS indicate that the high water contents found in near-arc parental melts can lead to crystallization of an unusually mafic, high velocity cumulate layer. Best-fit model runs contain initial water contents of ∼0.5-1.0 wt.% H2O in the parental melts, and successfully reproduce geochemical trends of the erupted lavas while crystallizing a cumulate assemblage with calculated seismic velocities consistent with those observed in the near-arc lower crust. Modeled residual melts are also lower density than their dry equivalents, which aids in melt segregation from the cumulate layer. Low-density, water-rich residual melts can lead to the eruption of vesicular lavas that are unusually evolved for an oceanic spreading center.

  7. Nickel isotopic compositions of ferromanganese crusts and the constancy of deep ocean inputs and continental weathering effects over the Cenozoic

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gall, L.; Williams, H. M.; Siebert, C.; Halliday, A. N.; Herrington, R. J.; Hein, J. R.

    2013-08-01

    The global variability in nickel (Ni) isotope compositions in ferromanganese crusts is investigated by analysing surface samples of 24 crusts from various ocean basins by MC-ICPMS, using a double-spike for mass bias correction. Ferromanganese crusts have δ60Ni isotopic compositions that are significantly heavier than any other samples thus far reported (-0.1‰ to 0.3 ‰), with surface scrapings ranging between 0.9 ‰ and 2.5 ‰ (relative to NIST SRM986). There is no well resolved difference between ocean basins, although the data indicate somewhat lighter values in the Atlantic than in the Pacific, nor is there any evidence that the variations are related to biological fractionation, presence of different water masses, or bottom water redox conditions. Preliminary data for laterite samples demonstrate that weathering is accompanied by isotopic fractionation of Ni, which should lead to rivers and seawater being isotopically heavy. This is consistent with the slightly heavier than average isotopic compositions recorded in crusts that are sampled close to continental regions. Furthermore, the isotopic compositions of crusts growing close to a hydrothermal source are clustered around ∼ 1.5 ‰, suggesting that hydrothermal fluids entering the ocean may have a Ni isotopic composition similar to this value. Based on these data, the heavy Ni isotopic compositions of ferromanganese crusts are likely due to input of isotopically heavy Ni to the ocean from continental weathering and possibly also from hydrothermal fluids. A depth profile through one crust, CD29-2, from the north central Pacific Ocean displays large variations in Ni isotope composition (1.1 - 2.3 ‰) through the last 76 Myr. Although there may have been some redistribution of Ni associated with phosphatisation, there is no systematic difference in Ni isotopic composition between deeper, older parts and shallower, younger parts of the crust, which may suggest that oceanic sources and sinks of Ni have

  8. Recycled oceanic crust in the Hawaiian Plume: evidence from temporal geochemical variations within the Koolau Shield

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Huang, Shichun; Frey, Frederick A.

    2005-07-01

    The subaerial surface of Koolau volcano is composed of lavas that define the distinctive endmember composition for Hawaiian shield lavas, known as the Koolau component, now designated as the Makapuu-stage. The geochemical characteristics of lavas recovered by the Koolau Scientific Drilling Project (KSDP) show that this distinctive composition forms a <300-m thick veneer. Below this veneer, from ~300m to 470 m below sea level, Koolau shield lavas transition to a composition similar to Mauna Loa lavas, now designated as the Kalihi-stage. This transition was gradual, occurring over >80 ka; therefore it was not caused by an abrupt event, such as a landslide. Among all Koolau shield lavas, there are correlations between radiogenic isotopic ratios of Sr, Nd and Pb and compositional characteristics, such as SiO2 content (adjusted to be in equilibrium with Fo90 olivine), Sr/Nb, La/Nb and Th/La. These long-term compositional and isotopic trends show that as the shield aged, there was an increasing role for an ancient recycled marine sediment component (<3% of the source) accompanied by up to 20% SiO2-rich dacitic melt. This melt was generated by partial melting of garnet pyroxenite, probably kilometers in size, that formed from recycled basaltic oceanic crust. In detail, time series analyses of depth profiles of Al2O3/CaO, Sr/Nb, La/Nb and Th/La in the KSDP drill core show correlations among these ratios indicating that recycled oceanic crust contributed episodically, ~29 ka period, to the magma source during the prolonged transition from Kalihi- to Makapuu-stage lava compositions. The long-term geochemical trends show that recycled oceanic crust was increasingly important as the Koolau shield moved away from the plume and encountered lower temperature.

  9. Shock-Induced Melting of Martian Basalts: Insights on Subducting Oceanic Crust Melting Processes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Beck, P.; Gillet, P.; Barrat, J.-A.; Gautron, L.; Daniel, I.; El Goresy, A.

    2003-04-01

    Experiments carried out on rocks at upper and lower mantle P-T conditions have produced series of candidate minerals for the Earth mantle mineralogical model. Basaltic compositions can also suffer ultra high-pressure and temperature when subducting in the mantle. The phase diagram of basalts has been studied to characterize potential chemical and mineralogical heterogeneities produced by partial melting and phase transformations of the oceanic crust. Shergottites that represent the most important sub-class of Martian meteorite have compositions close to terrestrial basalts and gabbros. During their extraction from Mars, they were severely shocked with pressures up to 50 GPa. These shocks induced partial melting. These melt pocket are an opportunity to study melting phenomena of basaltic compositions (i.e. oceanic crust) under high-pressure. We have performed a Raman spectroscopy investigation to determine the mineralogy of the melt pockets. Four shergottites were studied, NWA 480, NWA 856, NWA 1068 and Zagami. In each meteorite, abundant "large" minerals in melt pockets are hollandite (both Ca-Na and K-Na hollandite), stishovite, amorphous pyroxene and high-pressure phosphate. Meltpocket matrix seems to have a similar mineralogy as "megacrysts". In NWA 856 we observed at a melt pocket rim that maskelynite successively transforms into hollandite, and a polycrystalline aggregate. This aggregate was identified as a mixture of stishovite and a calcium aluminosilicate phase (CAS), a phase previously described in high-pressure experiments, but never observed in natural samples. The Raman spectra identifies unambiguously this silicate of composition CaAl_4Si_2O11 and of Ba-ferrite type structure. Such a phase is supposed to be present in basalt subsolidus melting experiments for pressures above 25 GPa and temperatures between 2500 and 2700 K. Its discovery reinforces the proposition that this CAS phase is a valuable candidate for hosting Al in subducting oceanic crust.

  10. Thermal diffusion of the lunar magma ocean and the formation of the lunar crust

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhu, D.; Wang, S.

    2010-12-01

    The magma ocean hypothesis is consistent with several lines of evidence including planet formation, core-mantle differentiation and geochemical observations, and it is proved as an inevitable stage in the early evolution of planets. The magma ocean is assumed to be homogeneous in previous models during solidification or crystallization[1]. Based on the recent advance and our new data in experimental igneous petrology[2], we question this assumption and propose that an gabbrotic melt, from which the anorthositic lunar crust crystallized, can be produced by thermal diffusion, rather than by magma fractionation. This novel model can provide explanations for the absence of the advection in lunar magma ocean[3] and the old age of the anorthositic lunar crust[4-5]. 1. Solomatov, V., Magma Oceans and Primordial Mantle Differentiation, in Treatise on Geophysics, S. Gerald, Editor. 2007, Elsevier: Amsterdam. p. 91-119. 2. Huang, F., et al., Chemical and isotopic fractionation of wet andesite in a temperature gradient: Experiments and models suggesting a new mechanism of magma differentiation. Geochimica Et Cosmochimica Acta, 2009. 73(3): p. 729-749. 3. Turcotte, D.L. and L.H. Kellogg, Implications of isotope data for the origin of the Moon, in Origin of the Moon, W.K. Hartmann, R.J. Phillips, and G.J. Taylor, Editors. 1986, Lunar and Planet. Inst.: Houston, TX. p. 311-329. 4. Alibert, C., M.D. Norman, and M.T. McCulloch, An ancient Sm-Nd age for a ferroan noritic anorthosite clast from lunar breccia 67016. Geochimica Et Cosmochimica Acta, 1994. 58(13): p. 2921-2926. 5. Touboul, M., et al., Tungsten isotopes in ferroan anorthosites: Implications for the age of the Moon and lifetime of its magma ocean. Icarus, 2009. 199(2): p. 245-249.

  11. Iron and sulfide oxidation within the basaltic ocean crust: implications for chemolithoautotrophic microbial biomass production

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bach, Wolfgang; Edwards, Katrina J.

    2003-10-01

    Microbial processes within the ocean crust are of potential importance in controlling rates of chemical reactions and thereby affecting chemical exchange between the oceans and lithosphere. We here assess the oxidation state of altered ocean crust and estimate the magnitude of microbial biomass production that might be supported by oxidative and nonoxidative alteration. Compilations of Fe 2O 3, FeO, and S concentrations from DSDP/ODP drill core samples representing upper basaltic ocean crust suggest that Fe 3+/ΣFe increases from 0.15 ± 0.05 to 0.45 ± 0.15 within the first 10-20 Myr of crustal evolution. Within the same time frame 70 ± 25% of primary sulfides in basalt are oxidized. With an annual production of 4.0 ± 1.8 × 10 15 g of upper (500 ± 200 m) crust and average initial concentrations of 8.0 ± 1.3 wt% Fe and 0.125 ± 0.020 wt% S, we estimate annual oxidation rates of 1.7 ± 1.2 × 10 12 mol Fe and 1.1 ± 0.7 × 10 11 mol S. We estimate that 50% of Fe oxidation may be attributed to hydrolysis, producing 4.5 ± 3.0 × 10 11 mol H 2/yr. Thermodynamic and bioenergetic calculations were used to estimate the potential chemolithoautotrophic microbial biomass production within ridge flanks. Combined, aerobic and anaerobic Fe and S oxidation may support production of up to 48 ± 21 × 10 10 g cellular carbon (C). Hydrogen-consuming reactions may support production of a similar or larger microbial biomass if iron reduction, nitrate reduction, or hydrogen oxidation by O 2(aq) are the prevailing metabolic reactions. If autotrophic sulfate reduction or methanogenesis prevail, the potential biomass production is 9 ± 7 × 10 10 g C/yr and 3 ± 2 × 10 10 g C/yr, respectively. Combined primary biomass production of up to ˜1 × 10 12 g C/yr may be similar to that fueled by anaerobic oxidation of organic matter in deep-seated heterotrophic systems. These estimates suggest that water-rock reactions may support significant microbial life within ridge flank

  12. Thorium isotope evidence for melting of the mafic oceanic crust beneath the Izu arc

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Freymuth, Heye; Ivko, Ben; Gill, James B.; Tamura, Yoshihiko; Elliott, Tim

    2016-08-01

    We address the question of whether melting of the mafic oceanic crust occurs beneath ordinary volcanic arcs using constraints from U-Series (238U/232Th, 230Th/232Th and 226Ra/230Th) measurements. Alteration of the top few hundred meters of the mafic crust leads to strong U enrichment. Via decay of 238U to 230Th, this results in elevated (230Th/232Th) (where brackets indicate activity ratios) over time-scales of ∼350 ka. This process leads to the high (230Th/232Th), between 2.6 and 11.0 in the mafic altered oceanic crust (AOC) sampled at ODP Sites 801 and 1149 near the Izu-Bonin-Mariana arc. Th activity ratios in the Izu arc lavas range from (230Th/232Th) = 1.2-2.0. These values are substantially higher than those in bulk sediment subducting at the Izu trench and also extend to higher values than in mid-ocean ridge basalts and the Mariana arc. We show that the range in Th isotope ratios in the Izu arc lavas is consistent with the presence of a slab melt from a mixed source consisting of AOC and subducted sediments with an AOC mass fraction of up to approximately 80 wt.% in the component added to the arc lava source. The oceanic plate subducting at the Izu arc is comparatively cold which therefore indicates that temperatures high enough for fluid-saturated melting of the AOC are commonly achieved beneath volcanic arcs. The high ratio of AOC/sediments of the slab melt component suggested for the Izu arc lavas requires preferential melting of the AOC. This can be achieved when fluid-saturated melting of the slab is triggered by fluids derived from underlying subducted serpentinites. Dehydration of serpentinites and migration of the fluid into the overlying crust causes melting to start within the AOC. The absence of a significant sediment melt component suggests there was insufficient water to flux both AOC and overlying sediments.

  13. The Jamestown Ophiolite Complex, Barberton mountain belt - A section through 3.5 Ga oceanic crust

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    De Wit, Maarten J.; Hart, Roger A.; Hart, Rodger J.

    1987-01-01

    The Jamestown Ophiolite Complex of the Barberton greenstone belt, South Africa, is investigated, and the intrusive nature of mafic-ultramafic units from the Komati and Kromberg formations into overlying pillow lavas and sediments is documented. Evidence is presented for multiple intrusive events within the igneous sections, including crosscutting intrusives, multiple injection of magma in the Komati section, and sheeted intrusions in the Kromberg section. The thinness of the Jamestown complex suggests that, locally at least, the ca 3.5 Ga oceanic crust was also thin, consistent with the regionally extensive metasomatic alteration.

  14. Changes in erosion and ocean circulation recorded in the Hf isotopic compositions of North Atlantic and Indian Ocean ferromanganese crusts

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Piotrowski, Alexander M.; Lee, Der-Chuen; Christensen, John N.; Burton, Kevin W.; Halliday, Alex N.; Hein, James R.; Günther, Detlef

    2000-01-01

    High-resolution Hf isotopic records are presented for hydrogenetic Fe–Mn crusts from the North Atlantic and Indian Oceans. BM1969 from the western North Atlantic has previously been shown to record systematically decreasing Nd isotopic compositions from about 60 to ∼4 Ma, at which time both show a rapid decrease to unradiogenic Nd composition, thought to be related to the increasing influence of NADW or glaciation in the northern hemisphere. During the Oligocene, North Atlantic Hf became progressively less radiogenic until in the mid-Miocene (∼15 Ma) it reached +1. It then shifted gradually back to an ϵHf value of +3 at 4 Ma, since when it has decreased rapidly to about −1 at the present day. The observed shifts in the Hf isotopic composition were probably caused by variation in intensity of erosion as glaciation progressed in the northern hemisphere. Ferromanganese crusts SS663 and 109D are from about 5500 m depth in the Indian Ocean and are now separated by ∼2300 km across the Mid-Indian Ridge. They display similar trends in Hf isotopic composition from 20 to 5 Ma, with the more northern crust having a composition that is consistently more radiogenic (by ∼2 ϵHf units). Paradoxically, during the last 20 Ma the Hf isotopic compositions of the two crusts have converged despite increased separation and subsidence relative to the ridge. A correlatable negative excursion at ∼5 Ma in the two records may reflect a short-term increase in erosion caused by the activation of the Himalayan main central thrust. Changes to unradiogenic Hf in the central Indian Ocean after 5 Ma may alternatively have been caused by the expanding influence of NADW into the Mid-Indian Basin via circum-Antarctic deep water or a reduction of Pacific flow through the Indonesian gateway. In either case, these results illustrate the utility of the Hf isotope system as a tracer of paleoceanographic changes, capable of responding to subtle changes in erosional regime not readily resolved

  15. Seismic wave velocity of rocks in the Oman ophiolite: constraints for petrological structure of oceanic crust

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Saito, S.; Ishikawa, M.; Shibata, S.; Akizuki, R.; Arima, M.; Tatsumi, Y.; Arai, S.

    2010-12-01

    Evaluation of rock velocities and comparison with velocity profiles defined by seismic refraction experiments are a crucial approach for understanding the petrological structure of the crust. In this study, we calculated the seismic wave velocities of various types of rocks from the Oman ophiolite in order to constrain a petrological structure of the oceanic crust. Christensen & Smewing (1981, JGR) have reported experimental elastic velocities of rocks from the Oman ophiolite under oceanic crust-mantle conditions (6-430 MPa). However, in their relatively low-pressure experiments, internal pore-spaces might affect the velocity and resulted in lower values than the intrinsic velocity of sample. In this study we calculated the velocities of samples based on their modal proportions and chemical compositions of mineral constituents. Our calculated velocities represent the ‘pore-space-free’ intrinsic velocities of the sample. We calculated seismic velocities of rocks from the Oman ophiolite including pillow lavas, dolerites, plagiogranites, gabbros and peridotites at high-pressure-temperature conditions with an Excel macro (Hacker & Avers 2004, G-cubed). The minerals used for calculations for pillow lavas, dolerites and plagiogranites were Qtz, Pl, Prh, Pmp, Chl, Ep, Act, Hbl, Cpx and Mag. Pl, Hbl, Cpx, Opx and Ol were used for the calculations for gabbros and peridotites. Assuming thermal gradient of 20° C/km and pressure gradient of 25 MPa/km, the velocities were calculated in the ranges from the atmospheric pressure (0° C) to 200 MPa (160° C). The calculation yielded P-wave velocities (Vp) of 6.5-6.7 km/s for the pillow lavas, 6.6-6.8 km/s for the dolerites, 6.1-6.3 km/s for the plagiogranites, 6.9-7.5 km/s for the gabbros and 8.1-8.2 km/s for the peridotites. On the other hand, experimental results reported by Christensen & Smewing (1981, JGR) were 4.5-5.9 km/s for the pillow lavas, 5.5-6.3 km/s for the dolerites, 6.1-6.3 km/s for the plagiogranites, 6

  16. 238U-234U-230Th disequilibrium in hydrogenous oceanic Fe-Mn crusts: Palaeoceanographic record or diagenetic alteration?

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Chabaux, F.; O'Nions, R. K.; Cohen, A.S.; Hein, J.R.

    1997-01-01

    A detailed TIMS study of (234Uexc/238U), (230Th/232Th), and Th/U ratios have been performed on the outermost margin of ten hydrogenous Fe-Mn crusts from the equatorial Pacific Ocean and west-central Indian Ocean. Th/U concentration ratios generally decrease from the crust's surface down to 0.5-1 mm depth and growth rates estimated by uranium and thorium isotope ratios are significantly different in Fe-Mn crusts from the Peru Basin and the west-central Indian Ocean. Fe-Mn crusts from the same geographical area define a single trend in plots of Ln (234Uexc/238U) vs. Ln(230Th/232Th) and Th/U ratios vs. age of the analysed fractions. Results suggest that (1) hydrogenous Fe-Mn crusts remain closed-systems after formation, and consequently (2) the discrepancy observed between the 230Th and 234U chronometers in Fe-Mn crusts, and the variations of the Th/U ratios through the margin of Fe-Mn crusts, are not due to redistribution of uranium and thorium isotopes after oxyhydroxide precipitation, but rather to temporal variations of both Th/U and initial thorium activity ratios recorded by the Fe-Mn layers. Implications of these observations for determination of Fe-Mn crust growth-rates are discussed. Variations of both Th/U and initial Th activity ratios in Fe-Mn crusts might be related to changes in particle input to seawater and/or changes in ocean circulation during the last 150 ka. Copyright ?? 1997 Elsevier Science Ltd.

  17. Statistical averaging of marine magnetic anomalies and the aging of oceanic crust.

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Blakely, R.J.

    1983-01-01

    Visual comparison of Mesozoic and Cenozoic magnetic anomalies in the North Pacific suggests that older anomalies contain less short-wavelength information than younger anomalies in this area. To test this observation, magnetic profiles from the North Pacific are examined from crust of three ages: 0-2.1, 29.3-33.1, and 64.9-70.3Ma. For each time period, at least nine profiles were analyzed by 1) calculating the power density spectrum of each profile, 2) averaging the spectra together, and 3) computing a 'recording filter' for each time period by assuming a hypothetical seafloor model. The model assumes that the top of the source is acoustic basement, the source thickness is 0.5km, and the time scale of geomagnetic reversals is according to Ness et al. (1980). The calculated power density spectra of the three recording filters are complex in shape but show an increase of attenuation of short-wavelength information as the crust ages. These results are interpreted using a multilayer model for marine magnetic anomalies in which the upper layer, corresponding to pillow basalt of seismic layer 2A, acts as a source of noise to the magnetic anomalies. As the ocean crust ages, this noisy contribution by the pillow basalts becomes less significant to the anomalies. Consequently, magnetic sources below layer 2A must be faithful recorders of geomagnetic reversals.-AuthorPacific power density spectrum

  18. Information on stress conditions in the oceanic crust from oval fractures in a deep borehole

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Morin, R.H.

    1990-01-01

    Oval images etched into the wall of a deep borehole were detected in DSDP Hole 504B, eastern equatorial Pacific Ocean, from analysis of an acoustic televiewer log. A systematic inspection of these ovals has identified intriguing consistencies in appearance that cannot be explained satisfactorily by a random, coincidental distribution of pillow lavas. As an alternative hypothesis, Mohr-Coulomb failure criterion is used to account for the generation and orientation of similarly curved, stress-induced fractures. Consequently, these oval features can be interpreted as fractures and related directly to stress conditions in the oceanic crust at this site. The azimuth of the oval center corresponds to the orientation of maximum horizontal principal stress (SH), and the oval width, which spans approximately 180?? of the borehole, is aligned with the azimuth of minimum horizontal principal stress (Sh). The oval height is controlled by the fracture angle and thus is a function of the coefficient of internal friction of the rock. -from Author

  19. First investigation of the microbiology of the deepest layer of ocean crust.

    PubMed

    Mason, Olivia U; Nakagawa, Tatsunori; Rosner, Martin; Van Nostrand, Joy D; Zhou, Jizhong; Maruyama, Akihiko; Fisk, Martin R; Giovannoni, Stephen J

    2010-01-01

    The gabbroic layer comprises the majority of ocean crust. Opportunities to sample this expansive crustal environment are rare because of the technological demands of deep ocean drilling; thus, gabbroic microbial communities have not yet been studied. During the Integrated Ocean Drilling Program Expeditions 304 and 305, igneous rock samples were collected from 0.45-1391.01 meters below seafloor at Hole 1309D, located on the Atlantis Massif (30 °N, 42 °W). Microbial diversity in the rocks was analyzed by denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis and sequencing (Expedition 304), and terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism, cloning and sequencing, and functional gene microarray analysis (Expedition 305). The gabbroic microbial community was relatively depauperate, consisting of a low diversity of proteobacterial lineages closely related to Bacteria from hydrocarbon-dominated environments and to known hydrocarbon degraders, and there was little evidence of Archaea. Functional gene diversity in the gabbroic samples was analyzed with a microarray for metabolic genes ("GeoChip"), producing further evidence of genomic potential for hydrocarbon degradation--genes for aerobic methane and toluene oxidation. Genes coding for anaerobic respirations, such as nitrate reduction, sulfate reduction, and metal reduction, as well as genes for carbon fixation, nitrogen fixation, and ammonium-oxidation, were also present. Our results suggest that the gabbroic layer hosts a microbial community that can degrade hydrocarbons and fix carbon and nitrogen, and has the potential to employ a diversity of non-oxygen electron acceptors. This rare glimpse of the gabbroic ecosystem provides further support for the recent finding of hydrocarbons in deep ocean gabbro from Hole 1309D. It has been hypothesized that these hydrocarbons might originate abiotically from serpentinization reactions that are occurring deep in the Earth's crust, raising the possibility that the lithic microbial

  20. First Investigation of the Microbiology of the Deepest Layer of Ocean Crust

    PubMed Central

    Mason, Olivia U.; Nakagawa, Tatsunori; Rosner, Martin; Van Nostrand, Joy D.; Zhou, Jizhong; Maruyama, Akihiko; Fisk, Martin R.; Giovannoni, Stephen J.

    2010-01-01

    The gabbroic layer comprises the majority of ocean crust. Opportunities to sample this expansive crustal environment are rare because of the technological demands of deep ocean drilling; thus, gabbroic microbial communities have not yet been studied. During the Integrated Ocean Drilling Program Expeditions 304 and 305, igneous rock samples were collected from 0.45-1391.01 meters below seafloor at Hole 1309D, located on the Atlantis Massif (30 °N, 42 °W). Microbial diversity in the rocks was analyzed by denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis and sequencing (Expedition 304), and terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism, cloning and sequencing, and functional gene microarray analysis (Expedition 305). The gabbroic microbial community was relatively depauperate, consisting of a low diversity of proteobacterial lineages closely related to Bacteria from hydrocarbon-dominated environments and to known hydrocarbon degraders, and there was little evidence of Archaea. Functional gene diversity in the gabbroic samples was analyzed with a microarray for metabolic genes (“GeoChip”), producing further evidence of genomic potential for hydrocarbon degradation - genes for aerobic methane and toluene oxidation. Genes coding for anaerobic respirations, such as nitrate reduction, sulfate reduction, and metal reduction, as well as genes for carbon fixation, nitrogen fixation, and ammonium-oxidation, were also present. Our results suggest that the gabbroic layer hosts a microbial community that can degrade hydrocarbons and fix carbon and nitrogen, and has the potential to employ a diversity of non-oxygen electron acceptors. This rare glimpse of the gabbroic ecosystem provides further support for the recent finding of hydrocarbons in deep ocean gabbro from Hole 1309D. It has been hypothesized that these hydrocarbons might originate abiotically from serpentinization reactions that are occurring deep in the Earth's crust, raising the possibility that the lithic microbial

  1. Do Two Deep Drill Holes Into the Upper Ocean Crust Quantify the Hydrothermal Contribution to Global Geochemical Cycles?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Teagle, D. A. H.; Alt, J.; Coggon, R. M.; Harris, M.; Smith-Duque, C. E.; Rehkamper, M.

    2014-12-01

    Vigorous circulation of seawater at the ocean ridges is required to cool and crystallize magma to form new ocean crust. Axial and ridge flank hydrothermal fluid circulation is accompanied by seawater-basalt exchanges over a spectrum of temperatures that buffer the chemistry of seawater, provide unique microbial niches, alter the chemistry and mineralogy of the ocean crust, and through subduction return surface-derived geochemical tracers to the interior of our planet. In many models of axial and ridge flank hydrothermal circulation, most fluid-rock interaction occurs in the upper oceanic crust. Hence inventories of seawater exchange should be captured by relatively shallow (<2 km) boreholes. However, after 45+ years of ocean drilling we have just two deep drill holes that sample the lava and dike layers of intact upper oceanic crust. DSDP Hole 504B on 6.9 Ma ocean crust produced at the intermediate spreading rate Costa Rica Rift penetrates 1836 m into basement through a complete sequence of lavas to near the base of the sheeted dike complex. In isolation, Hole 504B became the 'reference section' for upper oceanic crust from which hydrothermal contributions to global geochemical cycles were determined. The recent drilling of Hole 1256D in 15 Ma superfast spreading rate Pacific crust penetrated through the complete volcanic and sheeted dike layers into the underlying gabbroic rocks in intact ocean crust for the first time. These boreholes are complemented by observations from seafloor tectonic windows, fracture zones, and ophiolites, but these are imperfect analogs. Although Holes 504B and 1256D formed at different spreading rates, crust from both sites is expected to conform to textbook Penrose-type layering, albeit with different thicknesses of lavas and dikes. However, what was not anticipated was the contrasting distribution and nature of elemental and isotopic hydrothermal exchanges. Differences reflect the influence of local crustal structure, such as lava

  2. Paleomagnetic constraints on deformation of superfast-spread oceanic crust exposed at Pito Deep Rift

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Horst, A. J.; Varga, R. J.; Gee, J. S.; Karson, J. A.

    2011-12-01

    The uppermost oceanic crust produced at the superfast spreading (˜142 km Ma-1, full-spreading rate) southern East Pacific Rise (EPR) during the Gauss Chron is exposed in a tectonic window along the northeastern wall of the Pito Deep Rift. Paleomagnetic analysis of fully oriented dike (62) and gabbro (5) samples from two adjacent study areas yield bootstrapped mean remanence directions of 38.9° ± 8.1°, -16.7° ± 15.6°, n = 23 (Area A) and 30.4° ± 8.0°, -25.1° ± 12.9°, n = 44 (Area B), both are significantly distinct from the Geocentric Axial Dipole expected direction at 23° S. Regional tectonics and outcrop-scale structural data combined with bootstrapped remanence directions constrain models that involve a sequence of three rotations that result in dikes restored to subvertical orientations related to (1) inward-tilting of crustal blocks during spreading (Area A = 11°, Area B = 22°), (2) clockwise, vertical-axis rotation of the Easter Microplate (A = 46°, B = 44°), and (3) block tilting at Pito Deep Rift (A = 21°, B = 10°). These data support a structural model for accretion at the southern EPR in which outcrop-scale faulting and block rotation accommodates spreading-related subaxial subsidence that is generally less than that observed in crust generated at a fast spreading rate exposed at Hess Deep Rift. These data also support previous estimates for the clockwise rotation of crust adjacent to the Easter Microplate. Dike sample natural remanent magnetization (NRM) has an arithmetic mean of 5.96 A/m ± 3.76, which suggests that they significantly contribute to observed magnetic anomalies from fast- to superfast-spread crust.

  3. Concept of biogenic ferromanganese crust formation: coccoliths as bio-seeds in crusts from Central Atlantic Ocean (Senghor Seamount/Cape Verde).

    PubMed

    Wang, Xiaohong; Peine, Florian; Schmidt, Alexander; Schröder, Heinz C; Wiens, Matthias; Schlossmacher, Ute; Müller, Werner E G

    2011-05-01

    At depths of 2,000 to 3,000 m, seamounts from the Cape Verde archipelago (Central Atlantic Ocean) are largely covered with ferromanganese crusts. Here we studied 60 to 150 mm thick crusts from the Senghor Seamount (depth: 2257.4 m). The crusts have a non lamellated texture and are covered with spherical nodules. The chemical composition shows a dominance of MnO2 (26.1%) and Fe2O3 (38.8%) with considerable amounts of Co (0.74%) and TiO2 (2.1%). Analysis by scanning electron probe microanalyzer (EPMA) revealed a well defined compositional zonation of micro-layers; the distribution pattern of Mn does not match that of Fe. Analysis by high resolution scanning electron microscopy (SEM) revealed that coccospheres/coccoliths exist in the crust material as microfossils; most of the coccospheres/coccoliths are not intact. The almost circular coccoliths belong to the type of heterococcoliths and are taxonomically related to species of the family Calcidiscaceae. By energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopic analysis an accumulation of the coccoliths in the Mn- and Fe rich micronodules was detected. Focused ion beam assisted SEM mapping highlighted that the coccoliths in the crust are Mn rich, suggesting that the calcareous material of the algal skeleton has been replaced by Mn-minerals. We conclude that a biologically induced mechanism has been involved in the formation of the crusts, collected from the Cape Verde archipelago from depths of 2,000 to 3,000 m in the mixing region between the oxygen-minimum surface zone and the oxygen-rich deep waters; the deposition process might have been triggered by chemical reactions during the dissolution of the Ca-carbonate skeletons of the coccoliths allowing Mn(II) to oxidize to Mn(IV) and in turn to deposit this element in the crust material. PMID:21615032

  4. Seismic structure of the extended continental crust in the Yamato Basin, Japan Sea, from ocean bottom seismometer survey

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nakahigashi, Kazuo; Shinohara, Masanao; Yamada, Tomoaki; Uehira, Kenji; Mochizuki, Kimihiro; Kanazawa, Toshihiko

    2013-05-01

    We present the result of a seismic experiment conducted using ocean bottom seismometers and an airgun in the Yamato Basin, of the Japan Sea. The Japan Sea is one of the most well-studied back-arc basins in the western Pacific. The Japan Sea is believed to have been formed by back-arc opening. However, the timing and formation processes of the opening of individual basins in and around the Japan Sea are not clear. To reveal the crustal structure of the Yamato Basin it is important to consider the formation process of the Japan Sea. Therefore, we conducted a seismic survey and estimated the P-wave seismic velocity structure beneath the 170-km profile using a 2-D ray-tracing method. A layer with a P-wave velocity of 3.4-4.0 km/s underlies the sedimentary sections, which is thought to consist of a sill-and-sediment complex. The upper crust below the profile varies greatly in thickness. The thickness of the upper crust is 3.5 km in the thinnest part and 7 km in the thickest part. The thickness of the lower crust is approximately 8 km and is relatively constant over the profile. The total thickness of the crust is approximately 15 km including the sedimentary layer. The distribution of P-wave velocities and the thickness indicate that the crust in the Yamato Basin is neither a typical continental nor a typical oceanic crust. From the point of view of seismic velocity, the obtained structure is more similar to a continental crust than to an oceanic crust. The large lateral thickness variation in the upper crust and the uniform thickness of the lower crust suggest that the crust in the study area was formed by rifting/extension of continental crust during the opening of the Japan Sea. The margins of the continent or of island arcs can be divided into two types: volcanic rifted margins and non-volcanic rifted margins. Volcanic rifted margins are normally classified by the presence of a high-velocity body in the lower crust. At the volcanic rifted margin, the high

  5. Intraterrestrial life in igneous ocean crust: advances, technologies, and the future (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Edwards, K. J.; Wheat, C. G.

    2010-12-01

    The “next frontier” of scientific investigation in the deep sub-seafloor microbial biosphere lies in a realm that has been a completely unexplored until just the past decade: the igneous oceanic crust. Problems that have hampered exploration of the “hard rock” marine deep biosphere have revolved around sample access (hard rock drilling is technologically complex), contamination (a major hurdle), momentum (why take on this challenge when the relatively “easier” marine muds also have been a frontier) and suspicion that microbes in more readily accessed using (simpler) non-drilling technologies - like vents - are truly are endemic of subsurface clades/activities. Since the late 1990’s, however, technologies and resultant studies on microbes in the igneous ocean crust deep biosphere have risen sharply, and offer a new and distinct view on this biome. Moreover, microbiologists are now taking leading roles in technological developments that are critically required to address this biosphere - interfacing and collaborating closely with engineers, genomic biologists, geologists, seismologists, and geochemists to accomplish logistically complex and long-term studies that bring observatory research to this deep realm. The future of this field for the least decade is rich - opportunities abound for microbiologists to play new roles in how we study microbiology in the deep subsurface in an oceanographic and Earth system science perspective.

  6. High resolution dating of young magmatic oceanic crust using near-seafloor magnetics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dyment, J.; Kitazawa, M.; Hemond, C.; Guillou, H.; Chauvin, A.; Ravilly, M.; Honsho, C.

    2015-12-01

    We compare two independent dating methods on a section of oceanic crust created within the last million year on the Central Indian Ridge axis at 19°10'S, an area affected by the Reunion hotspot. First, near-seafloor magnetic anomalies display characteristic sequences of magnetic intensity variations that we confidently identified by comparison with published paleointensity curves for the Brunhes period and used as a dating tool. This approach is further confirmed by the linear trend relating the NRM (Natural Remanent Magnetization) and paleointensity measured on rock samples along the same section. Second, valid K-Ar and Ar-Ar ages are determined on enriched basalt samples collected by deep-sea submersible. They show an excellent coincidence with the magnetic ages and support the use of high-resolution, near-seafloor marine magnetic anomalies as an efficient tool to date the young magmatic oceanic crust, where radiometric methods are generally unpractical, with unprecedented resolution. The ages obtained on the CIR reveal a 150-200 kyr cyclicity in the magmatic and tectonic processes of seafloor formation, two ridge jumps of 2.5 km and 1.2 km, respectively, and a systematic spreading asymmetry in favor to the Indian flank which may result from the interaction of the CIR with the Reunion hotspot.

  7. Blocks in the Europan Crust Provide More Evidence of Subterranean Ocean

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2000-01-01

    The image on the left shows a region of Europa's crust made up of blocks which are thought to have broken apart and 'rafted' into new positions. These features are the best geologic evidence to date that Europa may have had a subsurface ocean at some time in its past. Combined with the geologic data, the presence of a magnetic field leads scientists to believe an ocean is most likely present at Europa today. In this false color image, reddish-brown areas represent non-ice material resulting from geologic activity. White areas are rays of material ejected during the formation of the 25-km diameter impact crater Pwyll (see global view). Icy plains are shown in blue tones to distinguish possibly coarse-grained ice (dark blue) from fine-grained ice (light blue). Long, dark lines are ridges and fractures in the crust, some of which are more than 3,000 kilometers (1,850 miles) long. These images were obtained by NASA's Galileo spacecraft during September 7, 1996, December 1996, and February 1997 at a distance of 677,000 kilometers (417,489 miles).

  8. Seismic evidence for overpressured subducted oceanic crust and megathrust fault sealing.

    PubMed

    Audet, Pascal; Bostock, Michael G; Christensen, Nikolas I; Peacock, Simon M

    2009-01-01

    Water and hydrous minerals play a key part in geodynamic processes at subduction zones by weakening the plate boundary, aiding slip and permitting subduction-and indeed plate tectonics-to occur. The seismological signature of water within the forearc mantle wedge is evident in anomalies with low seismic shear velocity marking serpentinization. However, seismological observations bearing on the presence of water within the subducting plate itself are less well documented. Here we use converted teleseismic waves to obtain observations of anomalously high Poisson's ratios within the subducted oceanic crust from the Cascadia continental margin to its intersection with forearc mantle. On the basis of pressure, temperature and compositional considerations, the elevated Poisson's ratios indicate that water is pervasively present in fluid form at pore pressures near lithostatic values. Combined with observations of a strong negative velocity contrast at the top of the oceanic crust, our results imply that the megathrust is a low-permeability boundary. The transition from a low- to high-permeability plate interface downdip into the mantle wedge is explained by hydrofracturing of the seal by volume changes across the interface caused by the onset of crustal eclogitization and mantle serpentinization. These results may have important implications for our understanding of seismogenesis, subduction zone structure and the mechanism of episodic tremor and slip. PMID:19122639

  9. Faulting induced by precipitation of water at grain boundaries in hot subducting oceanic crust.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Junfeng; Green, Harry W; Bozhilov, Krassimir; Jin, Zhenmin

    2004-04-01

    Dehydration embrittlement has been proposed to explain both intermediate- and deep-focus earthquakes in subduction zones. Because such earthquakes primarily occur at shallow depths or within the core of the subducting plate, dehydration at relatively low temperatures has been emphasized. However, recent careful relocation of subduction-zone earthquakes shows that at depths of 100-250 km, earthquakes continue in the uppermost part of the slab (probably the former oceanic crust that has been converted to eclogite) where temperatures are higher. Here we show that at such pressures and temperatures, eclogite lacking hydrous phases but with significant hydroxyl incorporated as defects in pyroxene and garnet develops a faulting instability associated with precipitation of water at grain boundaries and the production of very small amounts of melt. This new faulting mechanism satisfactorily explains high-temperature earthquakes in subducting oceanic crust and could potentially be involved in much deeper earthquakes in connection with similar precipitation of water in the mantle transition zone (400-700 km depth). Of potential importance for all proposed high-pressure earthquake mechanisms is the very small amount of fluid required to trigger this instability. PMID:15071590

  10. Deformation Experiments on Blueschist and Greenschist: Implications for the Rheology of Subducted Oceanic Crust

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Okazaki, K.; Hirth, G.

    2014-12-01

    To understand the spatial and temporal distribution of deformation (e.g., underplating and exhumation of metamorphic rocks) and earthquakes in subduction zones, it is important to constrain the rheological properties of metamorphic rocks (i.e., altered oceanic crust and sediments), and how they evolve during metamorphic reactions following hydration, carbonation and dehydration of the down-going slab. We conducted triaxial deformation experiments on three mafic schists with various peak metamorphic conditions: a lawsonite-blueschist, a greenschist, and an epidote-amphibole schist, using Griggs-type solid pressure- medium apparatus. Constant strain rate experiments and strain rate stepping experiments were conducted at confining pressures (Pc) from 0.76-2GPa, temperatures (T) from 300-600C and strain rates from 10-5-10-71/s. At a confining pressure of 1 GPa, temperature of 400C and strain rate of 10-5 1/s, differential stresses σd for all mafic schists were higher than 1 GPa. The lawsonite-blueschist and greenschist samples were weaker than epidote-amphibolite samples under all experimental conditions. All types of samples exhibit high stress exponent (> 15) and strain rate strengthening; frictional behavior that inhibits earthquake nucleation. Differential stress increased with increasing confining pressure, while friction coefficient decreased with increasing confining pressure and temperature. The nominal friction coefficient for the lawsonite-blueschist and the greenschist samples was 0.3 to 0.35, values which predict stresses below the Goetze criterion (σd < Pc). Microstructures of recovered samples showed modest buckling and several localized shear zones. These features suggest that the deformation of mafic schist is accommodated by semi-brittle deformation resulting in strain localization on faults. Such weak and aseismic fault zones in subducting slab might promote detachment of oceanic crust from the subducting slab and allow underplating to forearc crust.

  11. Geodynamic models of continental subduction and obduction of overriding plate forearc oceanic lithosphere on top of continental crust

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Edwards, Sarah J.; Schellart, Wouter P.; Duarte, Joao C.

    2015-07-01

    Continental subduction takes place in the final stage of subduction when all oceanic lithosphere is consumed and continental passive margin is pulled into the mantle. When the overriding plate is oceanic, dense forearc oceanic lithosphere might be obducted onto light continental crust forming an ophiolite (Tethyan-style ophiolite obduction). Four-dimensional dynamic analog subduction models have been constructed to evaluate the mechanical feasibility of continental subduction and forearc oceanic lithosphere obduction on top of continental crust. The roles of continental crust thickness, passive margin length, subducting lithosphere thickness, and overriding plate thickness were investigated to determine the maximum continental subduction depth, maximum forearc obduction distance, and forearc deformation during continental subduction. Our buoyancy-driven experiments indicate that deep continental subduction occurs in most circumstances (down to ~560 km) and that obduction of dense oceanic forearc lithosphere on top of light continental crust is mechanically feasible. Maximum obduction distances are relatively small (~26-37 km) but are sufficient to explain obduction of short ophiolite sheets, such as observed in New Caledonia. When including the thin (5-10 km thick) accretionary wedge of off-scraped deep sea sediments, oceanic crust, and mantle, then maximum obduction distances are much larger, ~60-160 km, sufficient to account for the obducted Northland Allochthon in New Zealand. Results indicate that increasing continental crust thickness decreases continental subduction depth, whereas increasing passive margin length and subducting lithosphere thickness increases continental subduction depth. Notably, during continental subduction, backarc extension continues, while forearc deformation (shortening) increases moderately compared to the preceding phase of normal (oceanic) subduction.

  12. Mid-Ocean Ridges: Dynamics of Processes Associated With Creation of New Ocean Crust

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McClain, James S.

    In the study of mid-ocean ridges, the interdisciplinary approach has been embraced for many years. On research expeditions, it is not unusual to see geologists, geophysicists, physical oceanographers, chemists, and biologists working together on their respective experiments. The motivation for this approach is not only to combine efforts; it also allows specialists to appreciate the intellectual value of each other's disciplines.

  13. Geophysical and geochemical nature of relaminated arc-derived lower crust underneath oceanic domain in southern Mongolia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Guy, Alexandra; Schulmann, Karel; Janoušek, Vojtěch; Å típská, Pavla; Armstrong, Robin; Belousova, Elena; Dolgopolova, Alla; Seltmann, Reimar; Lexa, Ondrej; Jiang, Yingde; Hanžl, Pavel

    2015-05-01

    The Central Asian Orogenic Belt (CAOB) in southern Mongolia consists of E-W trending Neoproterozoic cratons and Silurian-Devonian oceanic tectonic zones. Previous study revealed that the Early Paleozoic accretionary wedge and the oceanic tectonic zone are underlain by a layer giving a homogeneous gravity signal. Forward gravity modelling suggests that this layer is not formed of high-density material typical of lower oceanic crust but is composed of low- to intermediate-density rocks resembling continental crust. The nature of this lower crust is constrained by the whole-rock geochemistry and zircon Hf isotopic signature of abundant Late Carboniferous high-K calc-alkaline and Early Permian A-type granitoids intruding the two Early Paleozoic domains. It is possible to explain the genesis of these granitoids by anatexis of juvenile, metaigneous (tonalitic-gabbroic) rocks of Late Cambrian age, the source of which is presumed to lie in the "Khantaishir" arc (520-495 Ma) further north. In order to test this hypothesis, the likely modal composition and density of Khantaishir arc-like protoliths are thermodynamically modelled at granulite- and higher amphibolite-facies conditions. It is shown that the current average density of the lower crust inferred by gravity modelling (2730 ± 20 kg/m3) matches best metamorphosed leucotonalite to diorite. Based on these results, it is now proposed that Mongolian CAOB has an architecture in which the accretionary wedge and oceanic upper crust is underlain by allochthonous lower crust that originated in a Cambrian arc. A tectonic model explaining relamination of allochthonous felsic to intermediate lower crust beneath mafic upper crust is proposed.

  14. Geophysical and geochemical nature of relaminated arc-derived lower crust underneath oceanic domain in southern Mongolia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Guy, Alexandra; Schulmann, Karel; Janoušek, Vojtech; Štípská, Pavla; Armstrong, Robin; Belousova, Elena; Dolgopolova, Alla; Seltmann, Reimar; Lexa, Ondrej; Jiang, Yingde; Hanžl, Pavel

    2016-04-01

    The Central Asian Orogenic Belt (CAOB) in southern Mongolia consists of E-W trending Neoproterozoic cratons and Silurian-Devonian oceanic tectonic zones. Previous study revealed that the Early Paleozoic accretionary wedge and the oceanic tectonic zone are underlain by a layer giving a homogeneous gravity signal. Forward gravity modelling suggests that this layer is not formed of high-density material typical of lower oceanic crust but is composed of low- to intermediate-density rocks resembling continental crust. The nature of this lower crust is constrained by the whole-rock geochemistry and zircon Hf isotopic signature of abundant Late Carboniferous high-K calc-alkaline and Early Permian A-type granitoids intruding the two Early Paleozoic domains. It is possible to explain the genesis of these granitoids by anatexis of juvenile, metaigneous (tonalitic-gabbroic) rocks of Late Cambrian age, the source of which is presumed to lie in the "Khantaishir" arc (520-495Ma) further north. In order to test this hypothesis, the likely modal composition and density of Khantaishir arc-like protoliths are thermodynamically modelled at granulite- and higher amphibolite-facies conditions. It is shown that the current average density of the lower crust inferred by gravity modelling (2730 ±20kg/m3) matches best metamorphosed leucotonalite to diorite. Based on these results, it is now proposed that Mongolian CAOB has an architecture in which the accretionary wedge and oceanic upper crust is underlain by allochthonous lower crust that originated in a Cambrian arc. A tectonic model explaining relamination of allochthonous felsic to intermediate lower crust beneath mafic upper crust is proposed.

  15. The contribution of hydrothermally altered ocean crust to the mantle halogen and noble gas cycles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chavrit, Déborah; Burgess, Ray; Sumino, Hirochika; Teagle, Damon A. H.; Droop, Giles; Shimizu, Aya; Ballentine, Chris J.

    2016-06-01

    Recent studies suggest that seawater-derived noble gases and halogens are recycled into the deep mantle by the subduction of oceanic crust. To understand the processes controlling the availability of halogens and noble gases for subduction, we determined the noble gas elemental and isotopic ratios and halogen (Cl, Br, I) concentrations in 28 igneous samples from the altered oceanic crust (AOC) from 5 ODP sites in the Eastern and Western Pacific Ocean. Crushing followed by heating experiments enabled determination of noble gases and halogens in fluid inclusions and mineral phases respectively. Except for He and Ar, Ne, Kr and Xe isotopic ratios were all air-like suggesting that primary MORB signatures have been completely overprinted by air and/or seawater interaction. In contrast, 3He/4He ratios obtained by crushing indicate that a mantle helium component is still preserved, and 40Ar/36Ar values are affected by radiogenic decay in the mineral phases. The 130Xe/36Ar and 84Kr/36Ar ratios are respectively up to 15 times and 5 times higher than those of seawater and the highest ratios are found in samples affected by low temperature alteration (shallower than 800-900 m sub-basement). We consider three possible processes: (i) adsorption onto the clays present in the samples; (ii) fluid inclusions with a marine pore fluid composition; and (iii) fractionation of seawater through phase separation caused by boiling. Ninety percent of the Cl, Br and I were released during the heating experiments, showing that halogens are dominantly held in mineral phases prior to subduction. I/Cl ratios vary by 4 orders of magnitude, from 3 × 10-6 to 2 × 10-2. The mean Br/Cl ratio is 30% lower than in MORB and seawater. I/Cl ratios lower than MORB values are attributed to Cl-rich amphibole formation caused by hydrothermal alteration at depths greater than 800-900 m sub-basement together with different extents of I loss during low and high temperature alteration. At shallower depths, I

  16. Isotopic variations within upper oceanic crust at IODP Site 1256: Implications for crustal recycling and the formation of ocean island basalts

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Duggen, S.; Hoernle, K.; Geldmacher, J.; Hauff, F.

    2007-12-01

    The origin of ocean island basalts (OIBs) is a fundamental question facing Earth scientists. It is commonly agreed that lithospheric material recycled in the mantle is involved in the magma source of OIBs. The relative importance of 1) subducted altered oceanic basaltic crust (AOC), 2) subducted marine sediments and/or 3) delaminated metasomatised subcontinental lithosphere and continental lower crust remains to be resolved. We examine the geochemical composition of a complete in situ section of oceanic crust drilled at Site 1256 during IODP Expeditions 309 and 312. It includes the extrusive layer, sheeted dikes and gabbros of ca. 15 Ma old oceanic crust of the Cocos Plate formed during a period of superfast spreading at the East Pacific Rise. Modeling in the Sr-Nd-Pb-isotope space and comparison with present day radiogenic isotope ratios of OIBs provides constraints on the significance of recycled oceanic crust in the OIB mantle source(s). Our study shows that the generation of sulphides during low- and high-temperature alteration of oceanic crust has a strong influence on U/Pb and Th/Pb ratios and whether an AOC domain evolves relatively low or high Pb-isotope ratios over geological timescales. The model suggests that AOC as the sole precursor material, modified during the subduction process, and after relatively low to moderate recycling ages of ca. 300-800 Ma, is sufficient to explain the Sr-Nd-Pb-isotopic composition of OIBs with Pb-isotopic compositions along or below the Northern Hemisphere Reference Line (NHRL) and relatively high Nd-isotope ratios (e.g. Canaries, Galapagos, Iceland, Madeira). This indicates that additional EM-components, potentially associated with recycled lithospheric material such as subducted sediments, lower continental crust or subcontinental lithosphere, are not required for an array of OIBs, but are only necessary to explain OIBs with Pb-isotope ratios above the NHRL and relatively low Nd- isotope ratios (e.g. Pitcairn, Tristan

  17. Deep-sea mud volcanoes - a window to alteration processes in old oceanic crust?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hensen, Christian; Scholz, Florian; Nuzzo, Marianne; Valadares, Vasco; Terrinha, Pedro; Liebetrau, Volker; Kaul, Norbert; Manzoni, Sonia; Schmidt, Mark; Gràcia, Eulàlia

    2013-04-01

    A number of deep sea mud volcanoes (>4700 m water depth) were discovered during a recent expedition with the German research vessel Meteor along a prominent WSW-ENE trending strike-slip fault (SWIM 1; Zitellini et al., 2009) in the western extension of the Gulf of Cadiz (NE Atlantic). Mud volcanism was unambiguously related to tectonic activity along the fault and fluids expelled at these sites show a very distinct geochemical composition that has not been reported from any other mud volcano to date. In previous studies on deep-water mud volcanoes in the Western Gulf of Cadiz accretionary wedge it was hypothesized that the discharge fluids were affected by alteration processes occurring in the old (>140 Ma) and deeply buried (>4 km) oceanic crust (Scholz et al., 2009; Sallarès et al, 2011). This hypothesis is supported by recent findings at the mud volcanoes located to the west of the realm of tectonic deformation driven by the accretionary wedge of the Gulf of Cadiz. Pore water geochemical analyses revealed fluid sources from oceanic crust and oldest sedimentary strata. Regardless of the ultimate source, these findings suggest that large strike-slip faults may play a significant, yet unrecognized role in terms of fluid circulation and element redistribution. To date, hot vents and cold seeps occurring at active spreading centers and forearcs of subduction zones have been pinpointed as hotspots of fluid activity. However, bearing in mind that transform-type plate boundaries are equal in length compared to other types of plate boundaries, fluid exchange at this type of plate boundary may provide a similarly important pathway for water and element exchange between the lithosphere and ocean. Sallarès V., Gailler A., Gutscher M.-A., Graindorge D., Bartolomé R., Gràcia E., Díaz J., Dañobeitia J.J. and Zitellini N. (2011) Seismic evidence for the presence of Jurassic oceanic crust in the central Gulf of Cadiz (SW Iberian margin), Earth and Planetary Science Letters

  18. Seismic properties of the Nazca oceanic crust in southern Peruvian subduction system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kim, YoungHee; Clayton, Robert W.

    2015-11-01

    The horizontal Nazca slab, extending over a distance of ∼800 km along the trench is one of enigmatic features in Peruvian subduction zone. Increased buoyancy of the oceanic lithosphere alone due to the subduction of Nazca Ridge is insufficient to fully explain such a lengthy segment. We use data from the recent seismic experiment in southern Peru to find that the subduction-related hydration plays a major role in controlling shear wave velocities within the upper part of the oceanic crust and overlying materials. We observe substantial velocity reductions of ∼20-40% near the top plate interface along- and perpendicular-to the trench from ∼40-120 km depths. In particular, significant shear wave velocity reductions and subsequently higher P-to-S velocity ratio (exceeding 2.0) at the flat slab region suggest that the seismically probed layer is fluid-rich and mechanically weak. The dominant source of fluid comes from metasediments and subducted crust (Nazca Ridge). Long-term supply of fluid from the southward migrating Nazca Ridge provides additional buoyancy of the subducting oceanic lithosphere and also lowers the viscosity of the overlying mantle wedge to drive and sustain the flat plate segment of ∼800 km along the trench. Also, by comparing calculated seismic velocities with experimentally derived mineral physics data, we additionally provide mechanical constraints on the possible changes in frictional behavior across the subduction zone plate interface. Observed low seismic velocities in the seismogenic zone suggest a presence of low strength materials that may be explained by overpressured pore fluids (i.e., accreted sediment included in the subduction channel).

  19. Chlorine Stable Isotope Composition of Altered Oceanic Crust: Empirical and Experimental Results

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Barnes, J.; Gardner, J. E.

    2010-12-01

    Chlorine is an excellent geochemical tracer of fluid-rock interactions because it strongly partitions into the aqueous fluid phase. Chlorine can be used to study the migration of fluids in the crustal environment, volatiles in subduction zones, and the interaction between oceanic lithosphere and seawater-derived hydrothermal fluids. Cl is only a useful tracer, however, if 1) the δ37Cl values of potential chlorine reservoirs and 2) the relevant equilibrium chlorine isotope fractionation factors are both well constrained. Poor constraints on both 1 and 2 for altered oceanic crust (AOC) severely limit our understanding of the global Cl cycle. Here we present δ37Cl values of AOC sampled by the Ocean Drilling Program (ODP). Samples from the Southwest Indian Ridge (ODP Hole 735B) have δ37Cl values ranging from -0.2 to +0.2‰ (error < ± 0.3‰) vs. SMOC (Standard Mean Ocean Chloride, defined as 0‰). Samples from the Western Pacific (ODP Hole 801C) have δ37Cl values ranging from -0.4 to +0.8‰. ODP Site 735 samples a 11 Ma lower section of slow spreading (0.6-1.0 cm/yr) oceanic crust. In contrast, ODP Site 801 is located in ~170 Ma fast-spreading crust (16 cm/yr). Despite those differences in age and tectonic setting, the δ37Cl values of AOC are remarkably similar, implying similar sources and mechanisms of hydration. The only previously reported AOC δ37Cl values are from the Costa Rica Rift (ODP Hole 504B). Site 504 was drilled into 5.9 Ma crust from an intermediate spreading center (~3 cm/yr). δ37Cl values range from -1.6 to -0.9‰ (Bonifacie et al., 2007). Our study expands the range of δ37Cl values reported for AOC, and can be used to reevaluate mass balance calculations improving our understanding of subduction recycling. Experimental and theoretical constraints on chlorine isotope fractionation in inorganic systems are limited to only a handful of studies. Theoretical calculations estimate that at 25°C substances in which Cl bonds with 2+ cations will

  20. Does Fluid-Induced Eclogitization of Subducted Lower Oceanic Crust Produce the Slab Component of Arcs?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schenk, V.; John, T.

    2004-12-01

    To investigate fluid-induced transformation processes and associated trace element mobilization, co-genetic gabbros and eclogites of Zambia have been used. The rocks represent relics of subducted lower oceanic crust and gradual stages of the prograde gabbro-to-eclogite transformation are preserved by disequilibrium textures of incomplete reactions. No evidence for prograde blueschist- or amphibolite-facies mineral assemblages was found in the eclogites. Instead, fine-grained intergrowths of eclogite-facies minerals replacing plagioclase indicate the direct eclogitization of gabbroic precursors. Eclogitization occurred at 630-690°C and 2.6-2.8GPa and was accompanied by a channelized fluid flow that produced veins of the peak metamorphic assemblage. Evidences for aqueous fluids with variable salinities, in cases up to brine compositions, were found. Although all of the mafic rocks were subducted, only those gabbros that were infiltrated by fluids were eclogitized. Hence, the eclogites and their veins represent relict fluid pathways through subducted oceanic crust, providing direct evidence of channelized fluid flow within a slab. The gabbros and eclogites have MORB-like trace element patterns and initial Nd and Hf isotope compositions. In some eclogites, however, the LREE have been strongly fractionated from the HFSE and HREE, an effect that cannot be of magmatic origin but must have occurred during metamorphism. Eclogitization was limited by fluid availability, and the fluid flow through the rock is the most likely mechanism for LREE fractionation. Model fluid-rock ratios reveal that the fractionated rocks reacted with an amount of fluid up to 80% of their mass to create the most depleted REE patterns. The lower gabbroic part of the oceanic crust is an unlikely source for such a large volume of fluid and thus we hypothesise that the fluid originated in the underlying serpentinised lithospheric mantle. If, after triggering eclogitization, the resulting LREE

  1. A Cross-Hole, Multi-Year Tracer Injection Experiment in the Volcanic Ocean Crust

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fisher, A. T.; Neira, N. M.; Wheat, C. G.; Clark, J. F.; Becker, K.; Hsieh, C. C.; Rappe, M. S.

    2014-12-01

    We present preliminary results from the first cross-hole tracer injection experiment in the volcanic ocean crust. The test site is on 3.5 to 3.6 M.y. old seafloor on the eastern flank of the Juan de Fuca Ridge. Six borehole subseafloor observatories (CORKs) were installed during three scientific ocean drilling expeditions, five arrayed along a 1 km profile aligned with the strike of underlying abyssal hills (Holes 1026B, 1301A/B, and 1362A/B), and one offset 2.4 km to the east (1027C). Before installing the sixth CORK in Hole 1362B, in 2010, we injected a mixture of tracers (dissolved gas, metal salts, particles) during 24 hours into the upper ocean crust. Seafloor samplers connected CORKs, sampling from different locations in the crust, were recovered during servicing expeditions in 2011 and 2013; downhole samplers that contain records from the full four years following tracer injection will be recovered in Summer 2014. Analyses of dissolved gas tracers collected with wellhead samplers through 2013 suggest that the dominant flow direction in upper basement is south to north, as inferred from regional thermal data and the chemistry of geochemical (pore fluid and borehole) samples. The apparent tracer flow rate in upper basement is on the order of meters/day, but calculations are complicated by an incomplete CORK seal in Hole 1301A, which resulted in discharge from this system that also "pulled" water and tracer to the south. Samples were collected from the tracer injection borehole, Hole 1362B, and a sampling site 200 m to the north, Hole 1362A, beginning one year after tracer injection, after opening a large-diameter ball valve on the wellhead of Hole 1362B to initiate a long-term free flow experiment. Analyses of these samples suggest that much of the tracer injected in 2010 remained close to Hole 1362B rather than being advected and dispersed into the formation. It also appears that much of the tracer transport to Hole 1362A occurred within one or more

  2. Hydrothermal circulation in fast spread ocean crust - where and how much? Insight from ODP Hole 1256D

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Harris, M.; Coggon, R. M.; Smith-Duque, C. E.; Teagle, D. A. H.

    2014-12-01

    Understanding and quantifying hydrothermal circulation is critical to testing models of the accretion of lower ocean crust and quantifying global geochemical cycles. However, our understanding is principally limited by a lack of direct observations from intact ocean crust. Key questions remain about the magnitude of hydrothermal fluid fluxes, the nature and distribution of fluid pathways and their global variability. ODP Hole 1256D in the eastern equatorial Pacific samples a complete section of 15 Myr old upper ocean crust down to the dike/gabbro transition zone. A high spatial resolution Sr isotope profile is integrated with wireline studies, volcanostratigraphy, petrography and mineral geochemistry to document fluid pathways and develop a model for the evolving hydrothermal system during volcanic construction of the crust. Major off-axis fluid conduits in the volcanic sequence are restricted to the flow margins of two anomalously thick (>25 m) massive flows, indicating that massive flows act as a permeability barrier for fluid flow. Dike margins are pathways for both recharge and discharge hydrothermal fluids. Sub-horizontal channeling of high temperature fluids at the dike/gabbro boundary is a common attribute of most cartoons of mid ocean ridge hydrothermal systems. Hole 1256D provides the first in situ observations of the dike/gabbro transition zone and records lateral fluid transport along intrusive boundaries. The time-integrated fluid flux in the sheeted dikes of Hole 1256D calculated using Sr isotope mass balance is ~1.8 x 106 kg/m2. This is similar to fluid fluxes from other studies (Hole 504B, Pito Deep, Hess Deep) despite large variations in the thickness and Sr isotope profiles of the sheeted dike complexes, suggesting that hydrothermal fluid fluxes are remarkably uniform and independent of the local structure of the crust. This fluid flux is not large enough to completely remove the heat flux from crystallizing and cooling the lower crust and requires

  3. The deep subsurface biosphere in igneous ocean crust: frontier habitats for microbiological exploration.

    PubMed

    Edwards, Katrina J; Fisher, Andrew T; Wheat, C Geoffrey

    2012-01-01

    We discuss ridge flank environments in the ocean crust as habitats for subseafloor microbial life. Oceanic ridge flanks, areas far from the magmatic and tectonic influence of seafloor spreading, comprise one of the largest and least explored microbial habitats on the planet. We describe the nature of selected ridge flank crustal environments, and present a framework for delineating a continuum of conditions and processes that are likely to be important for defining subseafloor microbial "provinces." The basis for this framework is three governing conditions that help to determine the nature of subseafloor biomes: crustal age, extent of fluid flow, and thermal state. We present a brief overview of subseafloor conditions, within the context of these three characteristics, for five field sites where microbial studies have been done, are underway, or have been proposed. Technical challenges remain and likely will limit progress in studies of microbial ridge flank ecosystems, which is why it is vital to select and design future studies so as to leverage as much general understanding as possible from work focused at a small number of sites. A characterization framework such that as presented in this paper, perhaps including alternative or additional physical or chemical characteristics, is essential for achieving the greatest benefit from multidisciplinary microbial investigations of oceanic ridge flanks. PMID:22347212

  4. The Deep Subsurface Biosphere in Igneous Ocean Crust: Frontier Habitats for Microbiological Exploration

    PubMed Central

    Edwards, Katrina J.; Fisher, Andrew T.; Wheat, C. Geoffrey

    2011-01-01

    We discuss ridge flank environments in the ocean crust as habitats for subseafloor microbial life. Oceanic ridge flanks, areas far from the magmatic and tectonic influence of seafloor spreading, comprise one of the largest and least explored microbial habitats on the planet. We describe the nature of selected ridge flank crustal environments, and present a framework for delineating a continuum of conditions and processes that are likely to be important for defining subseafloor microbial "provinces." The basis for this framework is three governing conditions that help to determine the nature of subseafloor biomes: crustal age, extent of fluid flow, and thermal state. We present a brief overview of subseafloor conditions, within the context of these three characteristics, for five field sites where microbial studies have been done, are underway, or have been proposed. Technical challenges remain and likely will limit progress in studies of microbial ridge flank ecosystems, which is why it is vital to select and design future studies so as to leverage as much general understanding as possible from work focused at a small number of sites. A characterization framework such that as presented in this paper, perhaps including alternative or additional physical or chemical characteristics, is essential for achieving the greatest benefit from multidisciplinary microbial investigations of oceanic ridge flanks. PMID:22347212

  5. Velocity-porosity relationships in the upper oceanic crust - Theoretical considerations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Berge, Patricia A.; Fryer, Gerard J.; Wilkens, Roy H.

    1992-10-01

    We consider the application of rock physics theories to investigate relationship between seismic velocities and porosities in the shallow oceanic crust. Using an algorithm proposed by Cheng (1978) for iteratively building up porosity to create a highly porous medium, analogous to differential computation methods traditionally used to improve upon the self-consistent approach, we have devised two hybrid theories, which we term extended Walsh and extended Kuster-Toksoz. We attempt the inverse problem, determining porosity from a given velocity, using on-bottom refraction data collected on the flank of the East Pacific Rise. For 120 ka material with a P velocity of 2.5 km/s, if our assumptions regarding the aspect ratio distribution are correct, porosity lies somewhere between 24 and 34 percent. Resolution on slower zero-age crust (2.2 km/s) is poorer: there we predict a porosity between 26 and 43 percent. Use of shear-wave information would tighten these bounds.

  6. Mapping tectonic deformation in the crust and upper mantle beneath Europe and the North Atlantic Ocean.

    PubMed

    Zhu, Hejun; Tromp, Jeroen

    2013-08-23

    We constructed a three-dimensional azimuthally anisotropic model of Europe and the North Atlantic Ocean based on adjoint seismic tomography. Several features are well correlated with historical tectonic events in this region, such as extension along the North Atlantic Ridge, trench retreat in the Mediterranean, and counterclockwise rotation of the Anatolian Plate. Beneath northeastern Europe, the direction of the fast anisotropic axis follows trends of ancient rift systems older than 350 million years, suggesting "frozen-in" anisotropy related to the formation of the craton. Local anisotropic strength profiles identify the brittle-ductile transitions in lithospheric strength. In continental regions, these profiles also identify the lower crust, characterized by ductile flow. The observed anisotropic fabric is generally consistent with the current surface strain rate measured by geodetic surveys. PMID:23929947

  7. Fiskenaesset Anorthosite Complex: Stable isotope evidence for shallow emplacement into Archean ocean crust

    SciTech Connect

    Peck, W.H.; Valley, J.W.

    1996-06-01

    Oxygen and hydrogen isotope ratios indicate that unusual rocks at the upper contact of the Archean Fiskenaesset Anorthosite Complex at Fiskenaesset Harbor (southwest Greenland) are the products of hydrothermal alteration by seawater at the time of anorthosite intrusion. Subsequent granulite-facies metamorphism of these Ca-poor and Al- and Mg-rich rocks produced sapphirine- and kornerupine-bearing assemblages. Because large amounts of surface waters cannot penetrate to depths of 30 km during granulite-facies metamorphism, the isotopic signature of the contact rocks must have been obtained prior to regional metamorphism. The stable isotope and geochemical characteristics of the contact rocks support a model of shallow emplacement into Archean ocean crust for the Fiskenaesset Anorthosite Complex. 45 refs., 3 figs., 2 tabs.

  8. Formation of Oceanic Crust Geostructurs and Relation Between Submarine landslides and Tsunamis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Harutyunyan, Albert V.

    2010-05-01

    Numerous geological and geophysical data proved the presence of oceanic crust relicts of Tethys in the territory of Lesser Caucasus. To discover the deep structure, composition and evolution of the modern Earth crust, the elastic and density properties of basites, ultrabasites and serpentinites of lesser Caucasus at high pressures and temperatures were investigated. On the basis of this data, and numerous geological-geophysical factual data concerning Mid ridges, Transform faults, Subdaction zones, Island arcs and Marginal seas are presented as a possible mechanism of their formations and relation between submarine landslides and tsunamis. The numerous volcanic and seismic centers, serpentinized protrusions and also hydrothermal sources are dated in the rang of Mid ridges and Transform faults. The formation of serpentinized ultrabasites 3-rd layer affects an infiltration of oceanic waters on ultrabasites of the upper mantle. At the same time, on an axial part of the ridge, the horizontally cramping forces, on the 5-6км depth, are established, which step-by-step pass on expanding in the top of the ridge. Analyzing the data about composition and properties of oceanic crust, we suspect that during the formation of Mid ridges, the main role belongs to serpentinized rocks of the 3-rd oceanic layer. Owing to high plasticity and low density, the serpentinized masses, by tectonic faults, in the central zone of Mid ridges, from both parties, float up and by means of protrusions implanted in the oceanic crust, then the serpentinized masses are grasp by basalts lavas. Accumulation in the axial zone of Mid ridges large masses of basalts and serpentinits, under influence of gravitation forces make slides to downwards on the serpentinized layer to the foot of ridge and low-powered sedimentary layers between these masses are saved. In the proposed model we attempted to interpret the above mentioned phenomena in the following sense. 1. Because of serpentinization of ultrabasits

  9. Fractal analysis on Enceladus: a global ocean underneath the icy crust

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lucchetti, Alice; Pozzobon, Riccardo; Mazzarini, Francesco; Cremonese, Gabriele; Simioni, Emanuele; Massironi, Matteo

    2016-04-01

    Plumes of water have been observed erupting from Enceladus' south polar terrain providing direct evidence of a reservoir of liquid below the surface, that could be considered global or just a small body of water concentrated at its south pole. Gravity data collected during the spacecraft's several close flyby over the south polar region determined that the icy shell above the liquid ocean must be 30-40 km thick extending from the south pole up to 50°S (Iess et al. 2014). The hypothesis of a global ocean beneath the icy crust has been raised even in a recent paper of Thomas et al. (2015) thanks to the measurements of the very slight wobble that Enceladus displays as it orbits Saturn. In this work we support the hypothesis of the presence of an ocean layer using the fractal percolation theory. This method allowed us to estimate the icy shell thickness values in different regions of Enceladus from the south polar terrain up to the north pole. The spatial distribution of fractures on Enceladus has been analyzed in terms of their self-similar clustering and a two-point correlation method was used to measure the fractal dimension of the fractures population (Mazzarini, 2004, 2010). A self-similar clustering of fractures is characterized by a correlation coefficient with a size range defined by a lower and upper cut-off, that represent a mechanical discontinuity and the thickness of the fractured icy crust, thus connected to the liquid reservoir. We mapped the fractures on Enceladus surface based on April 2010 global mosaic from Cassini mission and applied the fractal method firstly to the south polar terrain finding indeed a fractal correlation of fractures and providing an ice shell thickness of ~40 km. Then, we analyzed fractures of four different regions around the equator and around the north pole inferring an overall ice shell thickness ranging from 35 to 45 km. Our results are in agreement with the gravity observations (Iess et al., 2014) and the mechanical models

  10. Deformation fabrics of natural blueschists and implications for seismic anisotropy in subducting oceanic crust

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kim, Daeyeong; Katayama, Ikuo; Michibayashi, Katsuyoshi; Tsujimori, Tatsuki

    2013-09-01

    Investigations of microstructures are crucial if we are to understand the seismic anisotropy of subducting oceanic crust, and here we report on our systematic fabric analyses of glaucophane, lawsonite, and epidote in naturally deformed blueschists from the Diablo Range and Franciscan Complex in California, and the Hida Mountains in Japan. Glaucophanes in the analyzed samples consist of very fine grains that are well aligned along the foliation and have high aspect ratios and strong crystal preferred orientations (CPOs) characterized by a (1 0 0)[0 0 1] pattern. These characteristics, together with a bimodal distribution of grain sizes from some samples, possibly indicate the occurrence of dynamic recrystallization for glaucophane. Although lawsonite and epidote display high aspect ratios and a strong CPO of (0 0 1)[0 1 0], the occurrence of straight grain boundaries and euhedral crystals indicates that rigid body rotation was the dominant deformation mechanism. The P-wave (AVP) and S-wave (AVS) seismic anisotropies of glaucophane (AVP = 20.4%, AVS = 11.5%) and epidote (AVP = 9.0%, AVS = 8.0%) are typical of the crust; consequently, the fastest propagation of P-waves is parallel to the [0 0 1] maxima, and the polarization of S-waves parallel to the foliation can form a trench-parallel seismic anisotropy owing to the slowest VS polarization being normal to the subducting slab. The seismic anisotropy of lawsonite (AVP = 9.6%, AVS = 19.9%) is characterized by the fast propagation of P-waves subnormal to the lawsonite [0 0 1] maxima and polarization of S-waves perpendicular to the foliation and lineation, which can generate a trench-normal anisotropy. The AVS of lawsonite blueschist (5.6-9.2%) is weak compared with that of epidote blueschist (8.4-11.1%). Calculations of the thickness of the anisotropic layer indicate that glaucophane and lawsonite contribute to the trench-parallel and trench-normal seismic anisotropy beneath NE Japan, but not to that beneath the Ryukyu

  11. Subduction Processing of Altered Oceanic Crust and its Consequences for Mantle Composition and Evolution (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kelley, K. A.

    2009-12-01

    The oceanic crust experiences hydrothermal alteration during its lifetime near the earth’s surface, which fundamentally changes the element distribution and the bulk composition of the crust through time. The subduction of altered oceanic crust (AOC) has been linked to specific geochemical signatures apparent in arc magmas and to certain isotopic heterogeneities in the earth’s mantle (i.e., HIMU). Several recent estimates of natural AOC compositions, coupled with mass balance models of the effects of subduction on AOC composition, now permit models of AOC as the source of HIMU to be quantitatively tested. Samples from deep basement drill sites into AOC provide end-member constraints on the influence of hydrothermal alteration as a function of crustal age, structure, and spreading rate (e.g., Sites 801, 1149, 417/418, 504, 1256), and also provide constraints on the geochemical fluxes from AOC entering subduction zones. Composite sample analyses and averages of discrete sample data for Sites 801 and 1149, proximal to the Mariana subduction zone, reveal similar patterns of element redistribution and enrichment that are common among all AOC drill sites. Both sites show significant bulk enrichments in U (2-5x) and the alkalis (Li [2x], K [4x], Rb [9-10x], Cs [7-12x]) over pristine glass, but indicate that Pb and Sr are redistributed locally during alteration without a significant net change to the bulk crustal concentration. If added as-is to the mantle, however, raw AOC would evolve through time to Pb and Sr isotopic compositions unobserved in the modern mantle, and additional fractionations of these elements during subduction processing of AOC are required if it is to be a viable parent material for HIMU. Mass balance constraints using Site 801 AOC and arc lava compositions from the Marianas show that subduction processing fractionates Pb, U, Rb and Sr from the subducted plate at different depths, leaving a residual slab at the end of this process that is an

  12. Alteration and mineralization of an oceanic forearc and the ophiolite-ocean crust analogy

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Alt, J.C.; Teagle, D.A.H.; Brewer, T.; Shanks, Wayne C., III; Halliday, A.

    1998-01-01

    Mineralogical, chemical, and isotopic (O, C, S, and Sr) analyses were performed on minerals and bulk rocks from a forearc basement section to understand alteration processes and compare with mid-ocean ridges (MOR) and ophiolites. Ocean Drilling Program Hole 786B in the Izu-Bonin forearc penetrates 103 m of sediment and 725 m into volcanic flows, breccias, and basal dikes. The rocks comprise boninites and andesites to rhyolites. Most of the section was affected by low-temperature (<100??C) seawater alteration, with temperatures increasing downward. The rocks are partly (5-25%) altered to smectite, Fe-oxyhydroxide, calcite, and phillipsite, and exhibit gains of K, Rb, and P, loss of Ca, variable changes in Si, Na, Mg, Fe, Sr, and Y, and elevated ??18O and 87Sr/86Sr. Higher temperatures (???150??C) in the basal dikes below 750 m led to more intense alteration and formation of chlorite-smectite, corrensite, albite, K-feldspar, and quartz (??chlorite). A 5 m thick hydrothermally altered and pyritized zone at 815 m in the basal dikes reacted with mixtures of seawater and hydrothermal fluids to Mg-chlorite, albite, and pyrite, and gained Mg and S and lost Si and Ca. Focused flow of hydrothermal fluids produced sericitization halos (Na-K sericite, quartz, pyrophyllite, K-feldspar, and pyrite) along quartz veins at temperatures of 200??-250??C. High 87Sr/86Sr ratios of chloritized (???0.7055) and sericitized (???0.7065) rocks indicate involvement of seawater via mixing with hydrothermal fluids. Low ??34S of sulfide (???2 to -5.5???) and sulfate (12.5???) are consistent with input of magmatic SO2 into hydrothermal fluids and disproportionation to sulfide and sulfate. Alteration processes were generally similar to those at MORs, but the arc section is more intensively altered, in part because of the presence of abundant glassy rocks and mafic phases. The increase in alteration grade below 750 m and the mineralization in the basal dikes are analogous to changes that occur near

  13. Andesite Magmas are Produced along Oceanic Arcs where the Crust is Thin: Evidence from Nishinoshima Volcano, Ogasawara Arc, Japan

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tamura, Y.; Ishizuka, O.; Sato, T.; Nichols, A. R.

    2015-12-01

    The incentive for this study is the ongoing explosive eruption of Nishinoshima volcano, located about 1,000 km south of Tokyo along the Ogasawara (Bonin) Arc. The straightforward but unexpected relationship presented here relates crustal thickness and magma type in the Izu-Ogasawara Oceanic Arc. Volcanoes along the Ogasawara segment of the arc, which include Nishinoshima, are underlain by thin crust (16-21 km)—in contrast to those along the Izu segment, where the crust is ~35 km thick. Interestingly, andesite magmas are dominant products from the former volcanoes and mostly basaltic lavas erupt from the latter. Why and how do volcanoes on the thin crust erupt andesite magmas? An introductory petrology textbook might answer this question by suggesting that, under decreasing pressure and hydrous conditions, the liquidus field of forsterite expands relative to that of enstatite, with the result that, at some point, enstatite melts incongruently to produce primary andesite melt. According to the hypothesis presented here, however, rising mantle diapirs stall near the base of the oceanic arc crust at depths controlled by the thickness of the overlying crust. Where the crust is thin, as along the Ogasawara segment of the arc, pressures are relatively low, and magmas produced in the mantle wedge tend to be andesitic. Where the crust is thick, as along the Izu segment, pressures are greater, and only basaltic magmas tend to be produced. To examine this hypothesis, JAMSTEC cruise NT15-E02 on the R/V Natsushima took place from 11 June to 21 June 2015 to Nishinoshima. It's present island has an elevation of only ~150 m, but its submarine flanks extend to ocean depths of 2,000-3,000 m, so the great bulk of the volcano is submarine and yet-to-be explored. We present the new hypothesis and its evidence from Nishinoshima based on the primitive lavas collected from the submarine parts of the volcano.

  14. Controls on thallium uptake during hydrothermal alteration of the upper ocean crust

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Coggon, Rosalind M.; Rehkämper, Mark; Atteck, Charlotte; Teagle, Damon A. H.; Alt, Jeffrey C.; Cooper, Matthew J.

    2014-11-01

    Hydrothermal circulation is a fundamental component of global biogeochemical cycles. However, the magnitude of the high temperature axial hydrothermal fluid flux remains disputed, and the lower temperature ridge flank fluid flux is difficult to quantify. Thallium (Tl) isotopes behave differently in axial compared to ridge flank systems, with Tl near-quantitatively stripped from the intrusive crust by high temperature hydrothermal reactions, but added to the lavas during low temperature reaction with seawater. This contrasting behavior provides a unique approach to determine the fluid fluxes associated with axial and ridge flank environments. Unfortunately, our understanding of the Tl isotopic mass balance is hindered by poor knowledge of the mineralogical, physical and chemical controls on Tl-uptake by the ocean crust. Here we use analyses of basaltic volcanic upper crust from Integrated Ocean Drilling Program Hole U1301B on the Juan de Fuca Ridge flank, combined with published analyses of dredged seafloor basalts and upper crustal basalts from Holes 504B and 896A, to investigate the controls on Tl-uptake by mid-ocean ridge basalts and evaluate when in the evolution of the ridge flank hydrothermal system Tl-uptake occurs. Seafloor basalts indicate an association between basaltic uptake of Tl from cold seawater and uptake of Cs and Rb, which are known to partition into K-rich phases. Although there is no clear relationship between Tl and K contents of seafloor basalts, the data do not rule out the incorporation of at least some Tl into the same minerals as the alkali elements. In contrast, we find no relationship between the Tl content and either the abundance of secondary phyllosilicate minerals, or the K, Cs or Rb contents in upper crustal basalts. We conclude that the uptake of Tl and alkali elements during hydrothermal alteration of the upper crust involves different processes and/or mineral phases compared to those that govern seafloor weathering. Furthermore

  15. Reactive overprint of the Central Indian Ridge mantle and formation of hybrid troctolites: reassessing the significance of bulk oceanic crust

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sanfilippo, A.; Morishita, T.; Kumagai, H.; Nakamura, K.; Okino, K.; Tamura, A.; Arai, S.

    2014-12-01

    The idea that hybridized mantle rocks can contribute to the oceanic crust composition has recently emerged thanks to studies on primitive (olivine-rich) troctolites [e.g. 1]. These rocks are considered to be formed by melt-rock interaction, but the exact reaction process by which they originate is still debated and their role on the bulk oceanic crust composition has been never defined. Olivine-rich troctolites have been mostly found at slow spreading ridges [2] or at their fossil analogues [3]. Similar rocks have been recently collected in the 25ºS area of the intermediate spreading Central Indian Ridge (CIR), and rarely characterize the crust mantle boundary at fast spreading ridges [4]. We show that textural and chemical inheritances of the pre-existing mantle are preserved in the CIR troctolites. In particular, the local occurrence of granular, mantle-derived orthopyroxenes and the composition of the associated clinopyroxene indicate that these crustal rocks formed through a direct (one-stage) conversion of a mantle peridotite. We use chemical evidence to infer the same origin of the olivine-rich troctolites worldwide, concluding that the reactive overprint of the oceanic mantle is a process diffused over the entire spreading rate spectrum. Bulk oceanic crust estimates of the Hess Deep (Pacific) and Atlantis Massif (Atlantic) crustal sections are used to quantify and compare the effect of these rocks on the bulk crust composition at fast and slow spreading ridges. Our inferences suggest that the significance of the bulk oceanic crust should be reassessed. When hybrid troctolites are included at crustal levels, the oceanic crust cannot be considered equal to the composition of the melt extracted from the mantle, but it results more primitive and importantly thicker. References: [1] Suhr G., Hellebrand E., Johnson K., Brunelli D., 2008, Geochem. Geophys. Geosyst. 9, doi:10.1029/2008GC002012; [2] Drouin M., Godard M., Ildefonse B., Bruguier O., Garrido C

  16. Seismic evidence for the presence of Jurassic oceanic crust in the central Gulf of Cadiz (SW Iberian margin)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sallarès, Valentí; Gailler, Audrey; Gutscher, Marc-André; Graindorge, David; Bartolomé, Rafael; Gràcia, Eulàlia; Díaz, Jordi; Dañobeitia, Juan José; Zitellini, Nevio

    2011-11-01

    We investigate the crustal structure of the SW Iberian margin along a 340 km-long refraction and wide-angle reflection seismic profile crossing from the central Gulf of Cadiz to the Variscan continental margin in the Algarve, Southern Portugal. The seismic velocity and crustal geometry model obtained by joint refraction and reflection travel-time inversion reveal three distinct crustal domains: the 28-30 km-thick Variscan crust in the north, a 60 km-wide transition zone offshore, where the crust abruptly thins ~ 20 km, and finally a ~ 7 km-thick and ~ 150 km-wide crustal section that appears to be oceanic in nature. The oceanic crust is overlain by a 1-3 km-thick section of Mesozoic to Eocene sediments, with an additional 3-4 km of low-velocity, unconsolidated sediments on top belonging to the Miocene age, Gulf of Cadiz imbricated wedge. The sharp transition between continental and oceanic crust is best explained by an initial rifting setting as a transform margin during the Early Jurassic that followed the continental break-up in the Central Atlantic. The narrow oceanic basin would have formed during an oblique rifting and seafloor spreading episode between Iberia and Africa that started shortly thereafter (Bajocian) and lasted up to the initiation of oceanic spreading in the North Atlantic at the Tithonian (late Jurassic-earliest Cretaceous). The velocity model displays four wide, prominent, south-dipping low-velocity anomalies, which seem to be related with the presence of crustal-scale faults previously identified in the area, some of which could well be extensional faults generated during this rifting episode. We propose that this oceanic plate segment is the last remnant of an oceanic corridor that once connected the Alpine-Tethys with the Atlantic ocean, so it is, in turn, one of the oldest oceanic crustal fragments currently preserved on Earth. The presence of oceanic crust in the central Gulf of Cadiz is consistent with geodynamic models suggesting the

  17. Geological storage of CO2 within the oceanic crust by gravitational trapping

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Marieni, Chiara; Henstock, Timothy J.; Teagle, Damon A. H.

    2013-12-01

    rise of atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) principally due to the burning of fossil fuels is a key driver of anthropogenic climate change. Mitigation strategies include improved efficiency, using renewable energy, and capture and long-term sequestration of CO2. Most sequestration research considers CO2 injection into deep saline aquifers or depleted hydrocarbon reservoirs. Unconventional suggestions include CO2 storage in the porous volcanic lavas of uppermost oceanic crust. Here we test the feasibility of injecting CO2 into deep-sea basalts and identify sites where CO2 should be both physically and gravitationally trapped. We use global databases to estimate pressure and temperature, hence density of CO2 and seawater at the sediment-basement interface. At previously suggested sites on the Juan de Fuca Plate and in the eastern equatorial Pacific Ocean, CO2 is gravitationally unstable. However, we identify five sediment-covered regions where CO2 is denser than seawater, each sufficient for several centuries of anthropogenic CO2 emissions.

  18. Predicting the Isotopic Composition of Subduction-Filtered Subducted Oceanic Crust and Sediment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    White, W. M.

    2010-12-01

    The chemical and isotopic character of mantle plumes, which produce oceanic island volcanoes, are widely thought to reflect the presence of recycled oceanic crust and sediment. Isotopic systematics suggest the “cycle time” for this process is 1 Ga or longer, but it should be possible to use a simple mass balance approach to discern how the presently operating subduction zone filter affects the ratios of radioactive parent to radiogenic daughter isotopes. Simple uniformitarian assumptions can then be used to predict the present isotopic composition of anciently subducted lithosphere. Our underlying assumption in deciphering the subduction zone filter is that the flux of an element into the deep mantle is simply equal to the flux of element into the subduction zone less the flux of that element into subduction zone magmas. The former is readily calculated from published data. The latter can be calculated by estimating parental magma compositions, arc accretion rates, and the assumption that arc magma compositions differ from MORB only because of material derived from subducting crust and sediment. Using this approach for 8 intra-oceanic subduction zones, we find 73% of Th and Pb, 79% of U, 80% of Rb and Sr, 93% of Nd and 98% of Sm survive the subduction zone filter. The subduction zone filter systematically increases Sm/Nd ratios in all subduction zones, but the effect is small, with a weighted mean increase of 1.5%. The effect of subduction is to decrease the Sm/Nd of the mantle, but only slightly. The effect of subduction is to increase the Rb/Sr of the mantle, but the subduction zone filter does not have a systematic effect on Rb/Sr ratios: it significantly increases in Rb/Sr in 3 subduction zones and significantly decreases it in one; the weighted mean shows no significant change. The effect of the subduction zone filter on U/Pb is also not systematic. U/Pb ratios in the mantle fluxes are bimodal, with values equal to or lower than the bulk Earth value in 4

  19. The Continental Crust.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Burchfiel, B. Clark

    1983-01-01

    Continental crust underlies the continents, their margins, and also small shallow regions in oceans. The nature of the crust (much older than oceanic crust) and its dynamics are discussed. Research related to and effects of tectonics, volcanism, erosion, and sedimentation on the crust are considered. (JN)

  20. Secular variation of Nd and Pb isotopes in ferromanganese crusts from the Atlantic, Indian and Pacific Oceans

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ling, H.-F.; von Blanckenburg, F.; Frank, M.; O'Nions, R. K.

    1998-02-01

    Two ferromanganese crusts from the Indian Ocean and one from the Atlantic Ocean have been analysed for 10Be/9Be, 143Nd/144Nd and 208,207,206Pb/204Pb ratios as a function of depth beneath their growth surfaces. 10Be/9Be ratios provide growth rate estimates for these crusts between 1.55 and 2.82 mm Ma-1 and further suggest that 87Sr/86Sr in crusts do not in any case examined so far provide reliable estimates for growth rates. A crust ALV-539 from 35°N in the western N. Atlantic has ɛNd and Pb-isotope variations indistinguishable from crust BM-1969.05 from 39°N in the N. Atlantic [K.W. Burton, H.-F. Ling, R.K. O'Nions, Closure of the central American isthmus and its impact on North Atlantic deepwater circulation, Nature (London) 386 (1997) 382-385] when 10Be/10Be ratios are used to estimate growth rates. Both crusts provide evidence for a marked change in deepwater composition in the western N. Atlantic with a reduction in ɛNd and an increase in 206Pb/204Pb from ~8 Ma ago towards the present day. The two crusts from the Indian Ocean show comparatively small variations in ɛNd between -8.0 and -7.0 over the last 20 Ma and do not show the large shift in ɛNd seen in the Atlantic crusts. Comparison of ɛNd in the crusts analysed here with those published previously [H.-F. Ling, K.W. Burton, R.K. O'Nions, B.S. Kamber, F. von Blanckenburg, A.J. Gibb, J.R. Hein, Evolution of Nd and Pb isotopes in central Pacific seawater from ferromanganese crusts, Earth Planet. Sci. Lett. 146 (1997) 1-12 K.W. Burton, H-F. Ling, R.K. O'Nions, Closure of the central American isthmus and its impact on North Atlantic deepwater circulation, Nature (London) 386 (1997) 382-385] shows that provinciality in the present-day ɛNd structure of the Pacific, Atlantic and Indian Oceans has been maintained over ~20 Ma or more despite the palaeogeographic changes that have occurred within this period. These include the closure of the Panama gateway and the uplift of the Himalayas. Superimposed on this

  1. Secular variation of Nd and Pb isotopes in ferromanganese crusts from the Atlantic, Indian and Pacific Oceans

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    O'Nions, R. K.; Frank, M.; von Blanckenburg, F.; Ling, H.-F.

    1998-02-01

    Two ferromanganese crusts from the Indian Ocean and one from the Atlantic Ocean have been analysed for 10Be/ 9Be, 143Nd/ 144Nd and 208,207,206Pb/ 204Pb ratios as a function of depth beneath their growth surfaces. 10Be/ 9Be ratios provide growth rate estimates for these crusts between 1.55 and 2.82 mm Ma -1 and further suggest that 87Sr/ 86Sr in crusts do not in any case examined so far provide reliable estimates for growth rates. A crust ALV-539 from 35°N in the western N. Atlantic has ɛNd and Pb-isotope variations indistinguishable from crust BM-1969.05 from 39°N in the N. Atlantic [K.W. Burton, H.-F. Ling, R.K. O'Nions, Closure of the central American isthmus and its impact on North Atlantic deepwater circulation, Nature (London) 386 (1997) 382-385] when 10Be/ 10Be ratios are used to estimate growth rates. Both crusts provide evidence for a marked change in deepwater composition in the western N. Atlantic with a reduction in ɛNd and an increase in 206Pb/ 204Pb from ˜8 Ma ago towards the present day. The two crusts from the Indian Ocean show comparatively small variations in ɛNd between -8.0 and -7.0 over the last 20 Ma and do not show the large shift in ɛNd seen in the Atlantic crusts. Comparison of ɛNd in the crusts analysed here with those published previously [H.-F. Ling, K.W. Burton, R.K. O'Nions, B.S. Kamber, F. von Blanckenburg, A.J. Gibb, J.R. Hein, Evolution of Nd and Pb isotopes in central Pacific seawater from ferromanganese crusts, Earth Planet. Sci. Lett. 146 (1997) 1-12; K.W. Burton, H-F. Ling, R.K. O'Nions, Closure of the central American isthmus and its impact on North Atlantic deepwater circulation, Nature (London) 386 (1997) 382-385] shows that provinciality in the present-day ɛNd structure of the Pacific, Atlantic and Indian Oceans has been maintained over ˜20 Ma or more despite the palaeogeographic changes that have occurred within this period. These include the closure of the Panama gateway and the uplift of the Himalayas

  2. Mantle-crust differentiation of chalcophile elements in the oceanic lithosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ciążela, J.; Dick, H. J.; Koepke, J.; Kuhn, T.; Muszynski, A.; Kubiak, M.

    2014-12-01

    The chalcophile elements, as associated with sulfides, are believed mainly from the study of ophiolites to be generally enriched in the upper mantle, but depleted by magmatic processes in the lower and upper ocean crust. However, studies of some orogenic lherzolites suggest a copper depletion of peridotites in relation to the primitive mantle, suggesting that a portion of the sulfides is melted during decompression and incorporated into the ascending magmas. The rarity of abyssal peridotites and the high degree of their alteration have not allowed these results to be verified in situ in the oceans.Here, we present the first complete study of chalcophile elements based on a suite of rocks from an oceanic core complex (OCC), the Kane Megamullion at 22°30'N at the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. OCCs provide large exposures of mantle and lower crustal rocks on the seafloor on detachment fault footwalls at slow and ultraslow spreading ridges. The Kane Megamullion is one of the best sampled OCCs in the world, with 1342 rocks from 28 dredge sites and 14 dives. We have made XRF, TD-MS and INAA analyses of 129 representative peridotites, gabbroic rocks, diabases and basalts. Our results suggest a depletion of some peridotites in relation to the primitive mantle (28 ppm Cu). Dunites, troctolites and olivine gabbros are relatively enriched in chalcophile elements. The amount of sulfides decreases gradually with progressive differentiation, reaching a minimum in gabbronorites and diabases. The highest bulk abundance of chalcophile elements in our sample suite was observed in dunites (up to ~ 300 ppm Cu in several samples) and a contact zone between residual peridotite and a mafic vein (294 ppm Cu). Plagioclase-bearing harzburgites, generally formed by late-stage melt impregnation in the mantle, are typically more enriched in Cu than unimpregnated residual peridotites. For these reasons, our initial results indicate sulfide melting during mantle melting, and their local precipitation in

  3. Static and fault-related alteration in the lower ocean crust, IODP Expedition 345, Hess Deep

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McCaig, Andrew; Faak, Kathrin; Marks, Naomi; Nozaka, Toshio; Python, Marie; Wintsch, Robert; Harigane, Yumiko; Titarenko, Sofya

    2014-05-01

    in the range 0.7037 - 0.7048, indicating alteration by seawater at moderate integrated fluxes. The highest values were in cataclasites overprinted by prehnite. δ18O values range from +1 to + 6 per mil, indicating alteration at temperatures generally >200 °C. Preliminary modelling using Comsol Multiphysics suggests that the temperatures of the overprinting alteration could be achieved in a permeable fault slot cutting through crust 0.5 to 1 m.y. old. Our study reveals a low temperature alteration assemblage dominated by prehnite and chlorite that is not normally associated with the lower oceanic crust. Yet it is likely to be common in any location where faults intersect the Moho off-axis, including transform faults, near axis normal faults at slow spreading ridges, and bending faults at subduction zones, and would be accompanied by serpentinites in upper mantle rocks, as seen at ODP site 895 in Hess Deep. This prehnite + chlorite assemblage may therefore be significant in the release of volatiles in subduction zones. Gillis, K.M., Snow J. E. and Shipboard Science Party (2014) Primitive layered gabbros from fast-spreading lower oceanic crust. Nature, 505,204-207, doi: 10.1038/nature12778

  4. Seawater recharge into oceanic crust: IODP Exp 327 Site U1363 Grizzly Bare outcrop

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wheat, C. Geoffrey; Hulme, Samuel M.; Fisher, Andrew T.; Orcutt, Beth N.; Becker, Keir

    2013-06-01

    Systematic differences in sediment thermal and pore water chemical profiles from Integrated Ocean Drilling Program Site U1363 document mixing and reaction within the basaltic crust adjacent to Grizzly Bare outcrop, a site of hydrothermal recharge into 3.6 My-old basaltic crust. A transect of seven holes was drilled ~50 m to ~750 m away from the base of the outcrop. Temperatures at the sediment-basement interface increase from ~6°C to >30°C with increasing distance from the outcrop, and heat flow is suppressed within several hundred meters from the outcrop. Calculated fluid compositions at the sediment-basement interface are generally explained by mixing between bottom seawater and altered crustal basement fluids, with a composition similar but not identical to fluids from seeps at Baby Bare outcrop, located ~45 km to the northeast. Reactions within upper basement and overlying sediment affect a variety of ions (Mn, Fe, Mo, Si, PO43-, V, and U) and δ13DIC, indicating a diagenetic influence and diffusive exchange with overlying sediment pore waters. The apparent 14C age of basal pore fluids is much older than bottom seawater. Collectively, these results are consistent with seawater recharge at Grizzly Bare outcrop; however, there are strong gradients in fluid composition within 50 m of the outcrop, providing evidence for complex flow paths and vigorous mixing of young, recently recharged seawater with much older, more reacted basement fluid. The proximity of these altered fluids to the edge of the outcrop raises the possibility for fluid seepage from the outcrop in addition to seawater recharge.

  5. Composition of the lunar magma ocean constrained by the conditions for the crust formation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sakai, R.; Nagahara, H.; Ozawa, K.; Tachibana, S.

    2014-02-01

    The present study aims to constrain the composition of the initial lunar magma ocean (LMO) with fluid dynamic and thermodynamic consideration. A plausible range of the initial LMO composition is investigated by developing an incremental polybaric fractional crystallization model with variable fractionation efficiency to satisfy three conditions for the anorthosite crust formation: (1) the amount of anorthite crystallized from the LMO is abundant enough to form the crust with the observed thickness, (2) the Mg# (=Mg/(Mg + Fe)) of orthopyroxene crystallized with anorthite in the cooling LMO is consistent with that observed in the lunar highland rocks, ferroan anorthosite, and (3) crystallized anorthite separated to float in the turbulent LMO. A plausible range of FeO and Al2O3 contents of the bulk LMO is successfully constrained as a crescent region tight for FeO and loose for Al2O3. The FeO content must be higher than 1.3 times the bulk silicate Earth (BSE) and lower than 1.8 ×BSE unless the Al2O3 content of the Moon is extremely higher than the Earth. These upper and lower limits for FeO are positively correlated with the initial Al2O3 content and fractionation efficiency. The FeO-rich LMO composition may suggest that the circum-Earth disk just after the giant impact of the Earth-Moon system formation was more oxidizing or the impactor was richer in FeO than the Earth’s mantle.

  6. Transient Hydrothermal Alteration in Fault Zones Cutting the Lower Oceanic Crust, Hess Deep Rift

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McCaig, Andrew; Titarenko, Sofya; Cliff, Robert; Ivan, Savov; Adrian, Boyce

    2015-04-01

    -axis alteration, common in any location where faults intersect the Moho, including transform faults, near axis normal faults at slow spreading ridges, and perhaps bending faults at subduction zones. [1] Gillis, K.M., Snow J. E. and Shipboard Science Party (2014) Primitive layered gabbros from fast-spreading lower oceanic crust. Nature, 505, 204-207.

  7. Transient Hydrothermal Alteration In Fault Zones Cutting The Lower Oceanic Crust, Hess Deep Rift

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McCaig, A. M.; Titarenko, S.; Cliff, R. A.; Savov, I. P.; Boyce, A.; Dutt, R.

    2014-12-01

    location where faults intersect the Moho, including transform faults, near axis normal faults at slow spreading ridges, and perhaps bending faults at subduction zones. [1] Gillis, K.M., Snow J. E. and Shipboard Science Party (2014) Primitive layered gabbros from fast-spreading lower oceanic crust. Nature, 505, 204-207.

  8. Slow-Spreading Oceanic Crust Formed By Steady-State Axial Volcanic Ridges

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Murton, B. J.; Schroth, N.; LeBas, T.; Van Calsteren, P. W.; Yeo, I. A.; Achenbach, K. L.; Searle, R. C.

    2012-12-01

    Oceanic crust originates at mid-ocean spreading ridges (MORs), covers almost three quarters of the earth's surface and dominates the global magmatic flux. Axial volcanic ridges (AVRs) are almost ubiquitous features of orthogonal slow-spreading ridges, which account for three quarters of the global mid-ocean spreading ridge system today. Typically 3-6 km wide, 200-500 m high and 10-20 km long, AVRs are the loci of recent volcanic activity and form the most prominent topography rising above the otherwise flat-lying Median Valley floor. Previous studies indicate that AVRs, and their related crustal magma reservoirs are episodic, on a time scale of 150-300 ka. Yet their near ubiquitous occurrence at slow-spreading ridge segments provides us with a paradox: if AVRs have a life cycle of formation and degradation, does their near ubiquitous presence at slow spreading ridges imply their life-cycles are synchronised? In this contribution, we report the findings from a high-resolution study of a well-developed axial volcanic ridge (AVR) at 45°N on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge (MAR). Here, the MAR is typical of most slow-spreading ridges: it spreads generally symmetrically and orthogonally, at a full rate of 23.6 mm per year, has second and third-order segmentation, and contains a typical AVR. Using a combination of detailed micro-bathymetry, sidescan sonar, visual surveying and petrology, we suggest that the AVR is the product of quasi-steady state volcanotectonic processes. Small volume lava flows, originating at or near the crest and with short run-out lengths, form ~60 m high hummocky pillow-lava mounds that dominate the construction of the AVR. The lavas are the product of moderate degrees of mantle melting that are typical for normal mid-ocean ridge basalt. Synchronous with these eruptions the flanks of the AVR subside forming a structural horst. Subsidence is partially accommodated by a series of outward-facing volcanic growth faults that step-down and away from the AVR

  9. Subduction of hydrated basalt of the oceanic crust: Implications for recycling of water into the upper mantle and continental growth

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rapp, R. P.

    1994-01-01

    Subduction zones are presently the dominant sites on Earth for recycling and mass transfer between the crust and mantle; they feed hydrated basaltic oceanic crust into the upper mantle, where dehydration reactions release aqueous fluids and/or hydrous melts. The loci for fluid and/or melt generation will be determined by the intersection of dehydration reaction boundaries of primary hydrous minerals within the subducted lithosphere with slab geotherms. For metabasalt of the oceanic crust, amphibole is the dominant hydrous mineral. The dehydration melting solidus, vapor-absent melting phase relationships; and amphibole-out phase boundary for a number of natural metabasalts have been determined experimentally, and the pressure-temperature conditions of each of these appear to be dependent on bulk composition. Whether or not the dehydration of amphibole is a fluid-generating or partial melting reaction depends on a number of factors specific to a given subduction zone, such as age and thickness of the subducting oceanic lithosphere, the rate of convergence, and the maturity of the subduction zone. In general, subduction of young, hot oceanic lithosphere will result in partial melting of metabasalt of the oceanic crust within the garnet stability field; these melts are characteristically high-Al2O3 trondhjemites, tonalites and dacites. The presence of residual garnet during partial melting imparts a distinctive trace element signature (e.g., high La/Yb, high Sr/Y and Cr/Y combined with low Cr and Y contents relative to demonstrably mantle-derived arc magmas). Water in eclogitized, subducted basalt of the oceanic crust is therefore strongly partitioned into melts generated below about 3.5 GPa in 'hot' subduction zones. Although phase equilibria experiments relevant to 'cold' subduction of hydrated natural basalts are underway in a number of high-pressure laboratories, little is known with respect to the stability of more exotic hydrous minerals (e.g., ellenbergite) and

  10. High Temperature Logging and Monitoring Instruments to Explore and Drill Deep into Hot Oceanic Crust.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Denchik, N.; Pezard, P. A.; Ragnar, A.; Jean-Luc, D.; Jan, H.

    2014-12-01

    Drilling an entire section of the oceanic crust and through the Moho has been a goal of the scientific community for more than half of a century. On the basis of ODP and IODP experience and data, this will require instruments and strategies working at temperature far above 200°C (reached, for example, at the bottom of DSDP/ODP Hole 504B), and possibly beyond 300°C. Concerning logging and monitoring instruments, progress were made over the past ten years in the context of the HiTI ("High Temperature Instruments") project funded by the european community for deep drilling in hot Icelandic geothermal holes where supercritical conditions and a highly corrosive environment are expected at depth (with temperatures above 374 °C and pressures exceeding 22 MPa). For example, a slickline tool (memory tool) tolerating up to 400°C and wireline tools up to 300°C were developed and tested in Icelandic high-temperature geothermal fields. The temperature limitation of logging tools was defined to comply with the present limitation in wireline cables (320°C). As part of this new set of downhole tools, temperature, pressure, fluid flow and casing collar location might be measured up to 400°C from a single multisensor tool. Natural gamma radiation spectrum, borehole wall ultrasonic images signal, and fiber optic cables (using distributed temperature sensing methods) were also developed for wireline deployment up to 300°C and tested in the field. A wireline, dual laterolog electrical resistivity tool was also developed but could not be field tested as part of HiTI. This new set of tools constitutes a basis for the deep exploration of the oceanic crust in the future. In addition, new strategies including the real-time integration of drilling parameters with modeling of the thermo-mechanical status of the borehole could be developed, using time-lapse logging of temperature (for heat flow determination) and borehole wall images (for hole stability and in-situ stress determination

  11. Separate zones of sulfate and sulfide release from subducted mafic oceanic crust

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tomkins, Andrew G.; Evans, Katy A.

    2015-10-01

    Liberation of fluids during subduction of oceanic crust is thought to transfer sulfur into the overlying sub-arc mantle. However, despite the importance of sulfur cycling through magmatic arcs to climate change, magma oxidation and ore formation, there has been little investigation of the metamorphic reactions responsible for sulfur release from subducting slabs. Here, we investigate the relative stability of anhydrite (CaSO4) and pyrite (FeS2) in subducted basaltic oceanic crust, the largest contributor to the subducted sulfur budget, to place constraints on the processes controlling sulfur release. Our analysis of anhydrite stability at high pressures suggests that this mineral should dominantly dissolve into metamorphic fluids released across the transition from blueschist to eclogite facies (∼450-650 °C), disappearing at lower temperatures on colder geothermal trajectories. In contrast, we suggest that sulfur release via conversion of pyrite to pyrrhotite occurs at temperatures above 750 °C. This higher temperature stability is indicated by the preservation of pyrite-bornite inclusions in coesite-bearing eclogites from the Sulu Belt in China, which reached temperatures of at least 750 °C. Thus, sulfur may be released from subducting slabs in two separate pulses; (1) varying proportions of SO2, HSO4- and H2S are released via anhydrite breakdown at the blueschist-eclogite transition, promoting oxidation of remaining silicates in some domains, and (2) H2S is released via pyrite breakdown well into the eclogite facies, which may in some circumstances coincide with slab melting or supercritical liquid generation driven by influx of serpentinite-derived fluids. These results imply that the metallogenic potential in the sub-arc mantle above the subducting slab varies as a function of subduction depth, having the greatest potential above the blueschist-eclogite transition given the association between oxidised magmas and porphyry Cu(-Au-Mo) deposits. We speculate

  12. Metasomatic modification of oceanic crust during early stages of subduction recorded in Mariana blueschist

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zack, Thomas; Savov, Ivan P.; Pabst, Sonja; Schmitt, Axel K.

    2013-04-01

    Serpentine mud volcanoes from the Mariana forearc bear unique witness of metasomatic processes in an active subduction zone in the form of centimeter-size blueschist-facies xenoliths. Charcateristic metamorphic assemblages point to conditions of ca 400°C and a formation depth of 27 km. Bulk rock compositions of amphibole-talc schists and chlorite-rich schists lie on a mixing line, extending from typical MORB towards SiO2-enriched mantle. Such mixing trends are remarkably similar to findings from the amphibolite-facies assemblages of the Catalina schist, although they equilibrated at much lower temperatures (Pabst et al. 2012). These observations demonstrate that the material experienced severe metasomatic changes at the slab-mantle interface in the shallow forearc. Further supporting evidence derives from δ11B measurements: phengite, amphibole and chlorite within the clasts have boron isotope values of -6±4‰, significantly lighter than oceanic crust, requiring isotopic fractionation by fluids carrying an isotopically heavy B component (Pabst et al. 2012). Although most current models assume that the Mariana blueschists record conditions of the ongoing subduction process, our recent findings indicate otherwise. Large (>100 µm) rutiles with high U (ca 20 ppm) found in one blueschist clast were dated by HR-SIMS at UCLA employing recently established U/Pb dating techniques (Schmitt & Zack 2012). Rutile concordia ages were tightly constrained at 48.1±2.9 Ma and are reproduced by concordia ages of low Th/U zircons at 47.5±1.5 Ma in the same sample. As those ages are interpreted to be formation ages of metasomatically modified blueschists and are only a few million years older than subduction initiation (at ca 50-52 Ma), we draw the following conclusions: (1) fast cooling of the downgoing oceanic crust must occur right after subduction initiation; (2) effective metasomatic and mechanical mixing processes (subduction channels?) must be established early in

  13. Petrology and geochemistry of primitive lower oceanic crust from Pito Deep: Implications for the accretion of the lower crust at the Southern East Pacific Rise

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Perk, N.W.; Coogan, L.A.; Karson, J.A.; Klein, E.M.; Hanna, H.D.

    2007-01-01

    A suite of samples collected from the uppermost part of the plutonic section of the oceanic crust formed at the southern East Pacific Rise and exposed at the Pito Deep has been examined. These rocks were sampled in situ by ROV and lie beneath a complete upper crustal section providing geological context. This is only the second area (after the Hess Deep) in which a substantial depth into the plutonic complex formed at the East Pacific Rise has been sampled in situ and reveals significant spatial heterogeneity in the plutonic complex. In contrast to the uppermost plutonic rocks at Hess Deep, the rocks studied here are generally primitive with olivine forsterite contents mainly between 85 and 88 and including many troctolites. The melt that the majority of the samples crystallized from was aggregated normal mid-ocean ridge basalt (MORB). Despite this high Mg# clinopyroxene is common despite model predictions that clinopyroxene should not reach the liquidus early during low-pressure crystallization of MORB. Stochastic modeling of melt crystallisation at various levels in the crust suggests that it is unlikely that a significant melt mass crystallized in the deeper crust (for example in sills) because this would lead to more evolved shallow level plutonic rocks. Similar to the upper plutonic section at Hess Deep, and in the Oman ophiolite, many samples show a steeply dipping, axis-parallel, magmatic fabric. This suggests that vertical magmatic flow is an important process in the upper part of the seismic low velocity zone beneath fast-spreading ridges. We suggest that both temporal and spatial (along-axis) variability in the magmatic and hydrothermal systems can explain the differences observed between the Hess Deep and Pito Deep plutonics. ?? Springer-Verlag 2007.

  14. Extent and impact of Cretaceous magmatism on the formation and evolution of Jurassic oceanic crust in the western Pacific

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Feng, H.; Lizarralde, D.; Tominaga, M.; Hart, L.; Tivey, M.; Swift, S. A.

    2015-12-01

    Multi-channel seismic (MCS) images and wide-angle sonobuoy data acquired during a 2011 cruise on the R/V Thomas G. Thompson (TN272) show widespread emplacement of igneous sills and broadly thickened oceanic Layer 2 through hundreds of kilometers of oceanic crust in one of the oldest ocean basins in the western Pacific, a region known as the Jurassic Quiet Zone (JQZ). Oceanic crust from the JQZ has grown through at least two main magmatic phases: It was formed by mid-ocean ridge processes in the Jurassic (at ~170 Ma), and then it was added to by a substantial Cretaceous magmatic event (at ~75-125 Ma). The scale of Cretaceous magmatism is exemplified by massive seafloor features such as the Ontong Java Plateau, Mid-Pacific Mountains, Marshall-Gilbert Islands, Marcus-Wake Seamount Chain, and numerous guyots, seamounts, and volcaniclastic flows observed throughout the region. We use seismic data to image heavily intruded and modified oceanic crust along an 800-km-long transect through the JQZ in order to examine how processes of secondary crustal growth - including magmatic emplacement, transport, and distribution - are expressed in the structure of modified oceanic crust. We also model gravity anomalies to constrain crustal thickness and depth to the Moho. Our observations suggest that western Pacific crust was modified via the following modes of emplacement: (a) extrusive seafloor flows that may or may not have grown into seamounts, (b) seamounts formed through intrusive diking that pushed older sediments aside during their formation, and (c) igneous sills that intruded sediments at varying depths. Emplacement modes (a) and (b) tend to imply a focused, pipe-like mechanism for melt transport through the lithosphere. Such a mechanism does not explain the observed broadly distributed intrusive emplacement of mode (c) however, which may entail successive sill emplacement between igneous basement and sediments thickening oceanic Layer 2 along ~400 km of our seismic line

  15. Silicon Isotope Geochemistry of Ocean Island Basalts: Search for Deep Mantle Heterogeneities and Evidence for Recycled Altered Oceanic Crust

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pringle, E. A.; Savage, P. S.; Jackson, M. G.; Moreira, M. A.; Day, J. M.; Moynier, F.

    2014-12-01

    recycled altered oceanic crust in the plume source. However, the sampling of a primitive reservoir enriched in the light isotopes of Si, as suggested by [4], cannot be ruled out as a potential source of Si isotope variations in OIBs. References: [1] Ziegler et al., GCA 2005 [2] Savage et al., GCA 2011 [3] Savage et al., EPSL 2010 [4] Huang et al., GCA 2014

  16. Silicon Isotope Geochemistry of Ocean Island Basalts: Mantle Heterogeneities and Contribution of Recycled Oceanic Crust and Lithosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pringle, E. A.; Moynier, F.; Savage, P. S.; Jackson, M. G.; Moreira, M. A.; Day, J. M.

    2015-12-01

    altered oceanic crust and lithosphere in the plume source. References: [1] Ziegler et al., GCA 2005 [2] Savage et al., GCA 2011 [3] Savage et al., EPSL 2010 [4] Day et al., Geology 2009 [5] Huang et al., GCA 2014

  17. Observations of oceanic crust and mantle structures at a deep ocean seismic array in the Eastern Mid Atlantic

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hannemann, Katrin; Krüger, Frank; Dahm, Torsten

    2016-04-01

    In 2011, twelve ocean bottom stations (OBS) were installed approximately 100 km North of the Gloria Fault during the DOCTAR project (Deep OCean Test ARray). This fault marks the plate boundary between the Eurasian and African plate in the North Eastern Mid Atlantic. The experiment took place in water depth of 4-6 km, 800 km West of the Portuguese coast. The stations were equipped with broad band seismometers which recorded for ten months. We employ P and S receiver functions (RF) to have a closer look at the structure of crust and mantle. The ocean is a quite noisy environment, therefore the number of usable events is low (around 20) compared to RF studies on land. We use several quality criteria (e.g. signal to noise ratio, relative spike position) to select proper processing parameters for the calculation of the RF and carefully reviewed all later on used RF. Despite the low number of events, the usage of an array of OBS with an aperture of 75 km allows us to investigate deeper discontinuities (e.g. in 410 and 660 km depth) compared to single station approaches which are usually employed for OBS. Furthermore, we increase the number of usable events by applying array methods. We use move out corrected and stacked RF to have a closer look at the mantle transition zone, and estimate average depth values for the Moho, the lithosphere asthenosphere boundary (LAB) and the base of the asthenosphere. The Moho lies at depth of 7 km, the LAB at approximately 50 km and the asthenosphere has an approximated thickness of 110 km. We observe a slight increase in the time difference of the mantle discontinuity conversion times compared to PREM. RF give just information regarding the impedance contrast at a discontinuity instead of velocities. We additionally use P wave polarization of teleseismic events to estimate absolute S velocities beneath the single stations. All in all, we use the information gained by the RF analysis, and the analysis of the P wave polarization to

  18. In situ enrichment of ocean crust microbes on igneous minerals and glasses using an osmotic flow-through device

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Smith, Amy; Popa, Radu; Fisk, Martin; Nielsen, Mark; Wheat, C. Geoffrey; Jannasch, Hans W.; Fisher, Andrew T.; Becker, Keir; Sievert, Stefan M.; Flores, Gilberto

    2011-06-01

    The Integrated Ocean Drilling Program (IODP) Hole 1301A on the eastern flank of Juan de Fuca Ridge was used in the first long-term deployment of microbial enrichment flow cells using osmotically driven pumps in a subseafloor borehole. Three novel osmotically driven colonization systems with unidirectional flow were deployed in the borehole and incubated for 4 years to determine the microbial colonization preferences for 12 minerals and glasses present in igneous rocks. Following recovery of the colonization systems, we measured cell density on the minerals and glasses by fluorescent staining and direct counting and found some significant differences between mineral samples. We also determined the abundance of mesophilic and thermophilic culturable organotrophs grown on marine R2A medium and identified isolates by partial 16S or 18S rDNA sequencing. We found that nine distinct phylotypes of culturable mesophilic oligotrophs were present on the minerals and glasses and that eight of the nine can reduce nitrate and oxidize iron. Fe(II)-rich olivine minerals had the highest density of total countable cells and culturable organotrophic mesophiles, as well as the only culturable organotrophic thermophiles. These results suggest that olivine (a common igneous mineral) in seawater-recharged ocean crust is capable of supporting microbial communities, that iron oxidation and nitrate reduction may be important physiological characteristics of ocean crust microbes, and that heterogeneously distributed minerals in marine igneous rocks likely influence the distribution of microbial communities in the ocean crust.

  19. Diversity of microbial communities in ocean crust below ancient hotspot seamounts along the Louisville Seamount Chain

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sylvan, J. B.; Edwards, K. J.

    2012-12-01

    The goal of Integrated Ocean Drilling Expedition 330, Louisville Seamount Trail, was to understand the motion of the Louisville hotspot during 50-80 Ma. As such, >1 km of volcanic basement was collected from five sites on four seamounts, providing an excellent chance to study how microbial populations are effected by different lithologies, different seamounts and age of basement rock along the Louisville Seamount Chain (LSC). Analysis of bacteria growing in enrichment incubations that targeted oligotrophs (with 1% or 10% Marine Broth 2216 diluted with 3% NaCl) and sulfur oxidizers reveals the presence of a diverse array of bacteria, including ɛ-proteobacteria closely related to Sulfurimonas autotrophica, β-proteobacterial methylotrophs, ζ-proteobacteria and Bacteroidetes most closely related to organisms cultured from sediments. Many of these sequences are <97% similar to the closest cultured relatives, indicating the subsurface LSC may be home to unique new species. One isolate recently obtained in pure culture from the original enrichments is 99% similar to Halomonas sulfidaeris str. Esulfude1, a bacterium originally isolated from a hydrothermal sulfide chimney. A second isolate may be a new species of Bacillus. Initial molecular analysis of bacterial communities by pyrosequencing of the 16S rRNA gene as part of the Census of Deep Life (CoDL) supports the data from the culturing work; in one sample collected 174 meters below seafloor, the most abundant bacteria detected include species from the genera Pseudomonas, Sulfurimonas, Methyloversatilis and Desulfocapsa. More CoDL samples will be analyzed in the near future. We will describe results to date on subsurface microbial diversity along the Louisville Seamount Chain from the culturing work and CoDL project and draw comparisons to data derived from younger crustal sites to try to understand how the LSC ecosystem fits into our global picture of life in ocean crust.

  20. Lateral heterogeneity in the seismic structure of upper oceanic crust, western North Atlantic

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Swift, Stephen A.; Stephen, Ralph A.

    1989-07-01

    We carried out a borehole seismic experiment at Deep Sea Drilling Project hole 418A in order to study the vertical and lateral velocity variations in 100-m.y.-old oceanic crust. We clamped a seismometer successively at five depths between 41 m and 430 m within the extrusive basalt layer while air gun and explosive sources were fired on eight radial lines and four concentric circles to 8 km range. Our travel time data do not give consistent evidence of anisotropy. However, our experimental error may mask anisotropy of up to 0.2-0.3 km/s. Velocities from inflection point analysis, sonic log, and reflectivity synthetic seismograms support results of τ-ζ inversion of radial line P arrival times. Velocity increases with an almost linear gradient of 1.3 s-1 from 4.6 km/s at the top of basement to 1.8 km depth. The τ-ζ velocity profile at 418A does not differ significantly at the 95% confidence level from that at 417D located ˜7.5 km away. Seismic velocities at shorter-length scales do vary laterally. Travel time anomalies indicate that seismic velocity in the upper 0.5 km increases laterally northwest to 3 km range. Other data indicate that this velocity anomaly in the extrusive layer may be due to alteration controlled by topography or to primary porosity variations.

  1. Dehydration of lawsonite could directly trigger earthquakes in subducting oceanic crust

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Okazaki, Keishi; Hirth, Greg

    2016-02-01

    Intermediate-depth earthquakes in cold subduction zones are observed within the subducting oceanic crust, as well as the mantle. In contrast, intermediate-depth earthquakes in hot subduction zones predominantly occur just below the Mohorovičić discontinuity. These observations have stimulated interest in relationships between blueschist-facies metamorphism and seismicity, particularly through dehydration reactions involving the mineral lawsonite. Here we conducted deformation experiments on lawsonite, while monitoring acoustic emissions, in a Griggs-type deformation apparatus. The temperature was increased above the thermal stability of lawsonite, while the sample was deforming, to test whether the lawsonite dehydration reaction induces unstable fault slip. In contrast to similar tests on antigorite, unstable fault slip (that is, stick-slip) occurred during dehydration reactions in the lawsonite and acoustic emission signals were continuously observed. Microstructural observations indicate that strain is highly localized along the fault (R1 and B shears), and that the fault surface develops slickensides (very smooth fault surfaces polished by frictional sliding). The unloading slope during the unstable slip follows the stiffness of the apparatus at all experimental conditions, regardless of the strain rate and temperature ramping rate. A thermomechanical scaling factor for the experiments is within the range estimated for natural subduction zones, indicating the potential for unstable frictional sliding within natural lawsonite layers.

  2. T-waves excitation modeling for realistic earthquake source and oceanic crust

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yun, S.; Park, M.; Lee, W.

    2009-12-01

    There have been several studies about empirical relation between the seismic source parameters (e.g., focal depths, focal mechanisms, magnitudes) and T-wave observation. However, to delineate the relation, we need to theoretically understand how earthquakes generate T-waves. In an attempt to investigate source radiation and wave scattering effects in the oceanic crust on T-wave envelopes, we perform three-dimensional numerical modeling to synthesize T-wave envelopes by assuming that excited T-phase energy is proportional to the seismic energy distribution on the seafloor. We calculate seismic P-and SV-energy on the seafloor using Direct Simulation Monte Carlo (DSMC) which can take into account realistic focal mechanism and wave scattering in a heterogeneous medium as well, and then estimate excited T-wave energy by normal mode computation. We synthesized T-wave envelopes for two different source types, two different source depths, and for two different cases of seismic wave propagation. The synthesized T-wave envelopes show directional changes of T-waves caused by anisotropic source radiation, focal depth effects on the slopes of T-wave envelopes and effects of seismic wave-scattering on shape of the envelopes.

  3. Dehydration of lawsonite could directly trigger earthquakes in subducting oceanic crust.

    PubMed

    Okazaki, Keishi; Hirth, Greg

    2016-02-01

    Intermediate-depth earthquakes in cold subduction zones are observed within the subducting oceanic crust, as well as the mantle. In contrast, intermediate-depth earthquakes in hot subduction zones predominantly occur just below the Mohorovičić discontinuity. These observations have stimulated interest in relationships between blueschist-facies metamorphism and seismicity, particularly through dehydration reactions involving the mineral lawsonite. Here we conducted deformation experiments on lawsonite, while monitoring acoustic emissions, in a Griggs-type deformation apparatus. The temperature was increased above the thermal stability of lawsonite, while the sample was deforming, to test whether the lawsonite dehydration reaction induces unstable fault slip. In contrast to similar tests on antigorite, unstable fault slip (that is, stick-slip) occurred during dehydration reactions in the lawsonite and acoustic emission signals were continuously observed. Microstructural observations indicate that strain is highly localized along the fault (R1 and B shears), and that the fault surface develops slickensides (very smooth fault surfaces polished by frictional sliding). The unloading slope during the unstable slip follows the stiffness of the apparatus at all experimental conditions, regardless of the strain rate and temperature ramping rate. A thermomechanical scaling factor for the experiments is within the range estimated for natural subduction zones, indicating the potential for unstable frictional sliding within natural lawsonite layers. PMID:26842057

  4. Seismic structure of the crust and uppermost mantle of north America and adjacent oceanic basins: A synthesis

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Chulick, G.S.; Mooney, W.D.

    2002-01-01

    We present a new set of contour maps of the seismic structure of North America and the surrounding ocean basins. These maps include the crustal thickness, whole-crustal average P-wave and S-wave velocity, and seismic velocity of the uppermost mantle, that is, Pn and Sn. We found the following: (1) The average thickness of the crust under North America is 36.7 km (standard deviation [s.d.] ??8.4 km), which is 2.5 km thinner than the world average of 39.2 km (s.d. ?? 8.5) for continental crust; (2) Histograms of whole-crustal P- and S-wave velocities for the North American crust are bimodal, with the lower peak occurring for crust without a high-velocity (6.9-7.3 km/sec) lower crustal layer; (3) Regions with anomalously high average crustal P-wave velocities correlate with Precambrian and Paleozoic orogens; low average crustal velocities are correlated with modern extensional regimes; (4) The average Pn velocity beneath North America is 8.03 km/sec (s.d. ?? 0.19 km/sec); (5) the well-known thin crust beneath the western United States extends into northwest Canada; (6) the average P-wave velocity of layer 3 of oceanic crust is 6.61 km/ sec (s.d. ?? 0.47 km/sec). However, the average crustal P-wave velocity under the eastern Pacific seafloor is higher than the western Atlantic seafloor due to the thicker sediment layer on the older Atlantic seafloor.

  5. Constraints on the accretion of the gabbroic lower oceanic crust from plagioclase lattice preferred orientation in the Samail ophiolite

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    VanTongeren, J. A.; Hirth, G.; Kelemen, P. B.

    2015-10-01

    Oceanic crust represents more than 60% of the earth's surface and despite a large body of knowledge regarding the formation and chemistry of the extrusive upper oceanic crust, there still remains significant debate over how the intrusive gabbroic lower oceanic crust is accreted at the ridge axis. The two proposed end-member models, the Gabbro Glacier and the Sheeted Sills, predict radically different strain accumulation in the lower crust during accretion. In order to determine which of these two hypotheses is most applicable to a well-studied lower crustal section, we present data on plagioclase lattice preferred orientations (LPO) in the Wadi Khafifah section of the Samail ophiolite. We observe no systematic change in the strength of the plagioclase LPO with height above the crust-mantle transition, no dominant orientation of the plagioclase a-axis lineation, and no systematic change in the obliquity of the plagioclase LPO with respect to the modal layering and macroscopic foliation evident in outcrop. These observations are most consistent with the Sheeted Sills hypothesis, in which gabbros are crystallized in situ and fabrics are dominated by compaction and localized extension rather than by systematically increasing shear strain with increasing depth in a Gabbro Glacier. Our data support the hypothesis of MacLeod and Yaouancq (2000) that the rotation of the outcrop-scale layering from sub-horizontal in the layered gabbros to sub-vertical near the sheeted dikes is due to rapid vertical melt migration through upper gabbros close to the axial magma chamber. Additionally, our results support the hypothesis that the majority of extensional strain in fast spreading ridges is accommodated in partially molten regions at the ridge axis, whereas in slow and ultra-slow ridges large shear strains are accommodated by plastic deformation.

  6. Magnetic mapping of (carbonated) oceanic crust-mantle boundary: New insights from Linnajavri, northern Norway

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tominaga, M.; Beinlich, A.; Tivey, M.; Andrade Lima, E.; Weiss, B. P.

    2012-12-01

    The contribution of lower oceanic crust and upper mantle to marine magnetic anomalies has long been recognized, but the detailed magnetic character of this non-volcanic source layer remains to be fully defined. Here, we report preliminary results of a magnetic survey and source characterization of a "carbonated" oceanic Moho (petrological "Mohorovicic discontinuity") sequence observed at the Linnajavri Serpentinite Complex (LSC), northern Norway. The LSC is located at 67° 36'N and 16° 24'E within the upper Allochthon of the Norwegian Caledonides and represents a dismembered ophiolite. Particularly in the southern ("Ridoalggicohkka") area of the LSC, gabbro, serpentinite and its talc-carbonate (soapstone) and quartz-carbonate (listvenite) altered equivalents are extraordinarily well-exposed [1]. An intact oceanic Moho is exposed here, despite its complex tectonic setting. The small degree of arctic rock weathering (≤ 2 mm weathering surface) allowed for detailed regional-scale surface magnetic mapping across alteration fronts (serpentinite-soapstone; soapstone-listvenite) and lithological contacts (soapstone-gabbro). Magnetic mapping was conducted using a handheld 3-axis magnetometer, surface-towed resistivity meter and Teka surface magnetic susceptometer with sample spacing of 1 m. Geophysical field mapping was combined with petrological observations and scanning SQUID microscopy (SM) mapping conducted on thin sections from rock samples that were drilled along the survey lines. Regional scale magnetic mapping indicates that the total magnetic field across both the "carbonated" Moho and the soapstone-serpentinite interfaces show higher frequency changes in their magnetic anomaly character and amplitudes than the surface-towed resistivity data. SQUID microscopy mapping of both natural remanence magnetization (NRM) and anhysteretic remanence magnetization (ARM) on gabbro, serpentinite, soapstone, and listvenite samples, with a sensor-sample separation of ˜190

  7. Geochemical investigation of Gabbroic Xenoliths from Hualalai Volcano: Implications for lower oceanic crust accretion and Hualalai Volcano magma storage system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gao, Ruohan; Lassiter, John C.; Barnes, Jaime D.; Clague, David A.; Bohrson, Wendy A.

    2016-05-01

    The patterns of axial hydrothermal circulation at mid-ocean ridges both affect and are influenced by the styles of magma plumbing. Therefore, the intensity and distribution of hydrothermal alteration in the lower oceanic crust (LOC) can provide constraints on LOC accretion models (e.g., "gabbro glacier" vs. "multiple sills"). Gabbroic xenoliths from Hualalai Volcano, Hawaii include rare fragments of in situ Pacific lower oceanic crust. Oxygen and strontium isotope compositions of 16 LOC-derived Hualalai gabbros are primarily within the range of fresh MORB, indicating minimal hydrothermal alteration of the in situ Pacific LOC, in contrast to pervasive alteration recorded in LOC xenoliths from the Canary Islands. This difference may reflect less hydrothermal alteration of LOC formed at fast ridges than at slow ridges. Mid-ocean ridge magmas from slow ridges also pond on average at greater and more variable depths and undergo less homogenization than those from fast ridges. These features are consistent with LOC accretion resembling the "multiple sills" model at slow ridges. In contrast, shallow magma ponding and limited hydrothermal alteration in LOC at fast ridges are consistent with the presence of a long-lived shallow magma lens, which limits the penetration of hydrothermal circulation into the LOC. Most Hualalai gabbros have geochemical and petrologic characteristics indicating derivation from Hualalai shield-stage and post-shield-stage cumulates. These xenoliths provide information on the evolution of Hawaiian magmas and magma storage systems. MELTS modeling and equilibration temperatures constrain the crystallization pressures of 7 Hualalai shield-stage-related gabbros to be ∼2.5-5 kbar, generally consistent with inferred local LOC depth. Therefore a deep magma reservoir existed within or at the base of the LOC during the shield stage of Hualalai Volcano. Melt-crust interaction between Hawaiian melts and in situ Pacific crust during magma storage partially

  8. Microbial diversity in deep-sea sediment from the cobalt-rich crust deposit region in the Pacific Ocean.

    PubMed

    Liao, Li; Xu, Xue-Wei; Jiang, Xia-Wei; Wang, Chun-Sheng; Zhang, Dong-Sheng; Ni, Jian-Yu; Wu, Min

    2011-12-01

    Cobalt-rich crusts are important metallic mineral resources with great economic potential, usually distributed on seamounts located in the Pacific Ocean. Microorganisms are believed to play a role in the formation of crusts as well as in metal cycling. To explore the microbial diversity related to cobalt-rich crusts, 16S ribosomal RNA gene clone libraries were constructed from three consecutive sediment layers. In total, 417 bacterial clones were obtained from three bacterial clone libraries, representing 17 distinct phylogenetic groups. Proteobacteria dominated in the bacterial communities, followed by Acidobacteria and Planctomycetes. Compared with high bacterial diversity, archaea showed a remarkably low diversity, with all 137 clones belonging to marine archaeal group I except one novel euryarchaeotal clone. The microbial communities were potentially involved in sulfur, nitrogen and metal cycling in the area of cobalt-rich crusts. Sulfur oxidation and metal oxidation were potentially major sources of energy for this ecosystem. This is the first reported investigation of microbial diversity in sediments associated with cobalt-rich crusts, and it casts fresh light on the microbial ecology of these important ecosystems. PMID:22067077

  9. Continental hyperextension, mantle exhumation and thin oceanic crust at the continent-ocean transition, West Iberia: new insights from wide-angle seismic

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Davy, Richard; Minshull, Tim; Bayrakci, Gaye; Bull, Jon; Klaeschen, Dirk; Papenberg, Cord; Reston, Timothy; Sawyer, Dale; Zelt, Colin

    2016-04-01

    Anomalously thin oceanic crust and expanses of exhumed and serpentinised mantle material at magma-poor rift margins are now a globally observed phenomena that characterizes the seaward limit of the continent-ocean transition. Hyperextension of continental crust at the Deep Galicia rifted margin in the North Atlantic has been accommodated by the rotation of continental fault blocks, which are underlain by the S-reflector, an interpreted detachment fault, along which exhumed and serpentinized mantle peridotite is observed. West of these features, the enigmatic Peridotite Ridge has been suggested to delimit the seaward extent of the continent-ocean transition. An outstanding question at this margin is where oceanic crust begins, with little existing data to constrain this boundary and a lack of clear seafloor spreading magnetic anomalies. Here we present results from a 160-km-long wide-angle seismic profile (WE-1). Forward modelling and travel time tomography models of the crustal compressional velocity structure reveal highly thinned and rotated crustal blocks overlying the S-reflector, which correlates with the 6.0 - 7.0 kms‑1 velocity contours, corresponding to peridotite serpentinization of 60 - 30 %, respectively. West of the Peridotite Ridge we observe a basement layer which is 2.8 - 3.5 km thick in which velocities increase smoothly and rapidly from ˜4.6 kms‑1 to 7.3 - 7.6 kms‑1,with an average velocity gradient of 1.00 s‑1. Below this, velocities slowly increase toward typical mantle velocities. Such a downward increase into mantle velocities is interpreted as decreasing serpentinization of mantle material with depth. However, sparse Moho reflections indicate the onset of an anomalously thin oceanic crust, which increases in thickness from ˜0.5 km to ˜1.5 km over a distance of 35 km, seaward.

  10. Structural evolution of preexisting oceanic crust through intraplate igneous activities in the Marcus-Wake seamount chain

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kaneda, Kentaro; Kodaira, Shuichi; Nishizawa, Azusa; Morishita, Taisei; Takahashi, Narumi

    2010-10-01

    Multichannel seismic reflection studies and seismic refraction surveys with ocean bottom seismographs in the Marcus-Wake seamount chain in the northwestern Pacific Ocean reveal P wave velocity structures of hot spot-origin seamounts and adjacent oceanic crust. Inside the seamounts are central high-velocity (>6.5 km/s) structures extending nearly to the top that may indicate intrusive cores. Thick sediment layers (up to 4 km) with P wave velocities of 4-5 km/s have accumulated on seafloor that predates seamount formation. Downward crustal thickening of up to 2 km was documented beneath a large seamount cluster, but thickening was not confirmed below a small seamount cluster. Volume ratios of an intrusive core to a seamount body are 15-20%, indicating that most of the supplied magma was consumed in forming the thick sedimentary and volcaniclastic layer constituting the seamount flanks. Underplating and downward crustal thickening may tend to occur when second or later intrusive cores are formed in a seamount. P wave velocities in the lowest crust and in the uppermost mantle below the seamount chain are 0.1-0.2 km/s higher and 0.3-0.5 km/s lower, respectively, than velocities below oceanic crust. We explain this difference as a result of sill-like intrusion of magma into the lower crust and uppermost mantle. Reflected waves observed at offsets >200 km are from mantle reflectors at depths of 30-45 km and 55-70 km. The shallower reflectors may indicate structures formed by intraplate igneous activities, and the deeper reflectors may correspond to the lithosphere-asthenosphere boundary.

  11. Structure, porosity and stress regime of the upper oceanic crust: Sonic and ultrasonic logging of DSDP Hole 504B

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Newmark, R.L.; Anderson, R.N.; Moos, D.; Zoback, M.D.

    1985-01-01

    The layered structure of the oceanic crust is characterized by changes in geophysical gradients rather than by abrupt layer boundaries. Correlation of geophysical logs and cores recovered from DSDP Hole 504B provides some insight into the physical properties which control these gradient changes. Borehole televiewer logging in Hole 504B provides a continuous image of wellbore reflectivity into the oceanic crust, revealing detailed structures not apparent otherwise, due to the low percentage of core recovery. Physical characteristics of the crustal layers 2A, 2B and 2C such as the detailed sonic velocity and lithostratigraphic structure are obtained through analysis of the sonic, borehole televiewer and electrical resistivity logs. A prediction of bulk hydrated mineral content, consistent with comparison to the recovered material, suggests a change in the nature of the alteration with depth. Data from the sonic, borehole televiewer, electrical resistivity and other porosity-sensitive logs are used to calculate the variation of porosity in the crustal layers 2A, 2B and 2C. Several of the well logs which are sensitive to the presence of fractures and open porosity in the formation indicate many zones of intense fracturing. Interpretation of these observations suggests that there may be a fundamental pattern of cooling-induced structure in the oceanic crust. ?? 1985.

  12. Predictions of hydrothermal alteration within near-ridge oceanic crust from coordinated geochemical and fluid flow models

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Wetzel, L.R.; Raffensperger, J.P.; Shock, E.L.

    2001-01-01

    Coordinated geochemical and hydrological calculations guide our understanding of the composition, fluid flow patterns, and thermal structure of near-ridge oceanic crust. The case study presented here illustrates geochemical and thermal changes taking place as oceanic crust ages from 0.2 to 1.0 Myr. Using a finite element code, we model fluid flow and heat transport through the upper few hundred meters of an abyssal hill created at an intermediate spreading rate. We use a reaction path model with a customized database to calculate equilibrium fluid compositions and mineral assemblages of basalt and seawater at 500 bars and temperatures ranging from 150 to 400??C. In one scenario, reaction path calculations suggest that volume increases on the order of 10% may occur within portions of the basaltic basement. If this change in volume occurred, it would be sufficient to fill all primary porosity in some locations, effectively sealing off portions of the oceanic crust. Thermal profiles resulting from fluid flow simulations indicate that volume changes along this possible reaction path occur primarily within the first 0.4 Myr of crustal aging. ?? 2001 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.

  13. Assessing the role of upwelling hydrothermal fluids in altering the upper ocean crust

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gillis, K. M.; Coogan, L. A.

    2008-12-01

    Hydrothermal alteration patterns developed at mid-ocean ridges are traditionally interpreted to form within recharge zones, with little or no alteration occurring as chemically modified fluids rise towards the seafloor. Evaluation of mineralogical and chemical data for sheeted dike complexes exposed at Pito and Hess Deeps, and drilled at Hole 504B shows that fluid-rock exchange took place at temperatures ~ 250 to >400° C throughout the sheeted dikes, with no systematic change with depth. The higher temperatures found in many dikes at all depths are indicated by metal depletion and the presence of aluminous amphibole. Thermal arguments show that high temperatures in the shallow dikes could not have been achieved in recharge zones. This is because the downward flow of seawater would act to depress temperatures in recharge zones, producing concave upwards isotherms and thus low temperatures in the shallow dikes. Thermal constraints [1] show that hot upwelling fluids have the capacity to heat and alter the sheeted dikes on viable timescales, producing the observed alteration patterns. This suggests that seawater migrating downwards through lavas and dikes is not significantly heated until it reaches the lower third of the sheeted dike complex, where heat is conducted from an underlying (hornfelsic) thermal boundary layer. The spatial distribution of upflow controls what proportion of the upper dikes are held at elevated temperatures for long enough to alter. Dikes recovered by submersible from the regionally extensive exposures at Pito and Hess Deeps show that discharge was not spatially restricted to narrow zones, but rather was focused in broad zones of upwelling [2]. Lateral variation in the mineralogical and chemical expression of discharge suggests that broad zones of upwelling migrated along the ridge axes with time. [1] Coogan, L.A. [2008] Reconciling temperatures of metamorphism, fluid fluxes, and heat transport in the upper crust at intermediate to fast

  14. Geochronologic and isotopic study of the La Désirade island basement complex: Jurassic oceanic crust in the Lesser Antilles?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mattinson, James M.; Fink, L. Kenneth; Hopson, Clifford A.

    1980-01-01

    La Désirade, a small island east of Guadeloupe, is underlain by the only exposed pre-Tertiary basement rocks in the Lesser Antilles. The basement complex comprises spilitic and keratophyric flows and pillow lavas (with interbedded and overlying radiolarian cherts), swarms of mafic to silicic dikes, and subjacent plagiogranite. These features, and the absence of carbonates, terrigenous clastic sediments, or tuffaceous sediments from the complex indicate that it developed in a deep marine environment beyond the reach of terrigenous sedimentation or emergent island arc pyroclastic deposition. Previous workers have suggested that the Désirade basement complex originated either as oceanic crust or during an early (tholeiitic) stage of island arc growth. The isotopic compositions of Sr and Pb from the complex, and previously reported rare earth data (Johnston and Schilling, 1974) do not provide a clear distinction between these two possibilities. Nor does the presence of siliceous keratophyre in the complex rule out an oceanic crustal origin-such rocks are common in well studied ophiolites that originated as oceanic crust. Hence we turn to the age relationships of the complex, the surrounding ocean floor, and adjacent island arcs in an attempt to resolve this problem. The age of the complex strongly supports an oceanic crustal (ophiolitic) origin. The ages of zircons and a previously reported K-Ar age indicate that the complex is 145±5 m.y. old. The complex predates the next oldest volcanic rocks of the Lesser Antilles arc by ca. 110 m.y., and the oldest known rocks of the Aves Ridge, a possible Mesozoic precursor of the Lesser Antilles arc, by 50 60 m.y. This makes it unlikely that the Désirade complex is related to an early phase of either of these arcs. Instead, the age of the complex falls in the range of ages expected for oceanic crust in the vicinity of the Lesser Antilles prior to the development of any subduction zone and resulting arc. Thus we interpret the

  15. Global distribution of beryllium isotopes in deep ocean water as derived from Fe-Mn crusts

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Von Blanckenburg, F.; O'Nions, R. K.; Belshaw, N.S.; Gibb, A.; Hein, J.R.

    1996-01-01

    The direct measurement of the ratio of cosmogenic 10Be (T1/2 = 1.5 Ma) to stable terrigenously sourced 9Be in deep seawater or marine deposits can be used to trace water mass movements and to quantify the incorporation of trace metals into the deep sea. In this study a SIMS-based technique has been used to determine the 10Be/9Be ratios of the outermost millimetre of hydrogenetic ferromanganese crusts from the worlds oceans. 10Be/9Be ratios, time-corrected for radioactive decay of cosmogenic 10Be using 234U/ 238U, are in good agreement with AMS measurements of modern deep seawater. Ratios are relatively low in the North and equatorial Atlantic samples (0.4-0.5 ?? 10-7). In the Southwest Atlantic ratios increase up to 1 ?? 10-7, they vary between 0.7 and 1.0 ?? 10-7 in Indian Ocean samples, and have a near constant value of 1.1 ?? 0.2 ?? 10-7 for all Pacific samples. If the residence time of 10Be (??10Be) in deep water is constant globally, then the observed variations in 10Be/9Be ratios could be caused by accumulation of 10Be in deep water as it flows and ages along the conveyor, following a transient depletion upon its formation in the Northern Atlantic. In this view both 10Be and 9Be reach local steady-state concentration in Pacific deep water and the global ??10Be ??? 600 a. An alternative possibility is that the Be isotope abundances are controlled by local scavenging. For this scenario ??10Be would vary according to local particle concentration and would ??? 600 a in the central Pacific, but ??10Be ??? 230 a in the Atlantic. Mass balance considerations indicate that hydrothermal additions of 9Be to the oceans are negligible and that the dissolved riverine source is also small. Furthermore, aeolian dust input of 9Be appears insufficient to provide the dissolved Be inventory. The dissolution of only a small proportion (2%) of river-derived particulates could in principle supply the observed seawater Be content. If true, ocean margins would be the sites for 9Be

  16. Detachment Fault Initiation and Control by Partially Molten Zones in the Lower Ocean Crust

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dick, H. J.; Natland, J. H.; MacLeod, C. J.; Robinson, P. T.

    2012-12-01

    The close association of oxide gabbro and deformation in interleaved ferrogabbro and olivine gabbro at Atlantis Bank on the SW Indian Ridge explains the formation of this enormous single-domed gabbroic oceanic core complex. ODP Holes 735B and 1105A show that the stratigraphy is defined by 100's of zones of intense deformation and strain localization in the upper 500-m where various melts percolated including late-stage iron-titanium rich melts. The latter created highly deformed oxide-rich gabbro zones at scales from millimeters to over 100 meters. Mapping by ROV, over-the-side rock drilling, dredging, and submersible shows that this stratigraphy exists uniformly over the bank. Deep drilling and sampling up the headwalls of major landslips cutting into the core complex show that the fault zone was imbricate, likely reflecting relocation of the active slip plane due to cyclic intrusion in the lower crust. The detachment originated as a high-angle fault on the rift valley wall that propagated into a zone of partially molten gabbro beneath the sheeted dikes. This zone then pinned the footwall block, creating a plutonic growth fault along which gabbro intruded beneath the ridge axis was continuously uplifted and exposed on the Antarctic plate for ~3.9 myr. The overlying basaltic carapace spread more slowly to the north on the African Plate. Textural evidence, particularly that provided by iron-titanium oxides, shows that melts migrated along complex shear zones in which several creep mechanisms operated, ranging from crystal plastic dislocation creep, diffusion creep, grain boundary sliding, and brittle deformation. More than one of these mechanisms may have occurred concurrently. Subsequently, these zones localized later solid-state creep, often producing texturally complex rocks where separation of the timing and duration of different creep mechanisms is difficult to unravel. As uplift of the plutonic section progressed, the footwall passed through the zone of diking

  17. Triple seismic source, double research ship, single ambitious goal: integrated imaging of young oceanic crust in the Panama Basin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wilson, Dean; Peirce, Christine; Hobbs, Richard; Gregory, Emma

    2016-04-01

    Understanding geothermal heat and mass fluxes through the seafloor is fundamental to the study of the Earth's energy budget. Using geophysical, geological and physical oceanography data we are exploring the interaction between the young oceanic crust and the ocean in the Panama Basin. We acquired a unique geophysical dataset that will allow us to build a comprehensive model of young oceanic crust from the Costa Rica Ridge axis to ODP borehole 504B. Data were collected over two 35 x 35 km2 3D grid areas, one each at the ridge axis and the borehole, and along three 330 km long 2D profiles orientated in the spreading direction, connecting the two grids. In addition to the 4.5 km long multichannel streamer and 75 ocean-bottom seismographs (OBS), we also deployed 12 magnetotelluric (MT) stations and collected underway swath bathymetry, gravity and magnetic data. For the long 2D profiles we used two research vessels operating synchronously. The RRS James Cook towed a high frequency GI-gun array (120 Hz) to image the sediments, and a medium frequency Bolt-gun array (50 Hz) for shallow-to-mid-crustal imaging. The R/V Sonne followed the Cook, 9 km astern and towed a third seismic source; a low frequency, large volume G-gun array (30 Hz) for whole crustal and upper mantle imaging at large offsets. Two bespoke vertical hydrophone arrays recorded real far field signatures that have enabled us to develop inverse source filters and match filters. Here we present the seismic reflection image, forward and inverse velocity-depth models and a density model along the primary 330 km north-south profile, from ridge axis to 6 Ma crust. By incorporating wide-angle streamer data from our two-ship, synthetic aperture acquisition together with traditional wide-angle OBS data we are able to constrain the structure of the upper oceanic crust. The results show a long-wavelength trend of increasing seismic velocity and density with age, and a correlation between velocity structure and basement

  18. Effects of Sediment Layer and Shallow Portion of the Oceanic Crust on Waveforms of Broadband Ocean Bottom Seismometers in Northwest Pacific Ocean

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Abe, Y.; Kawakatsu, H.

    2015-12-01

    Earthquake Research Institute, The University of Tokyo and Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology have conducted seismic observation in the northwest Pacific Ocean with broadband ocean bottom seismometers (BBOBSs), for understanding the structure of the Earth's interior and the mechanism of plate motion (Normal Mantle Project). We have performed receiver function (RF) analyses using the waveform data, for detecting velocity discontinuities in the upper mantle, and have understood that it is essential to reveal shallower structure (especially structure of sediment) for elucidating the upper mantle structure using RFs (Abe et al., 2014, SSJ meeting; 2015, JpGU meeting). Therefore, we attempted to estimate the shallower structure by using power spectrum and auto correlation function (ACF) of ambient noise in addition to RFs. Power spectrum of horizontal seismogram of a BBOBS has several peaks due to resonances of S wave in the sediment. Godin & Chapman (1999, J. Acoust. Soc. Am.) introduced a method to estimate a 1-D velocity distribution in the sediment from the resonance frequencies. From the location of spectral peaks of a station (NM14), we estimated the velocity distribution to be Vs(z) = 0.519z0.473 (Vs: S wave velocity (km/s), z: depth (km)), assuming a sediment layer thickness of 0.3 km. Two way S wave travel time in this sediment corresponds to the arrival time of a prominent negative ACF peak of horizontal seismogram of the station. On the other hand, for P-wave RFs (0.4-2.0 Hz) of the station, the arrival time of the first positive peak is not explained only by the estimated sediment structure, and another discontinuity located a few hundred meters deeper than the bottom of the sediment is necessary to explain it. We attempt to constrain the structure of the sediment and shallow portion of the oceanic crust by analyzing RF waveforms in more detail that also explains power spectrum and ACF of ambient noise.

  19. Cross-hole tracer experiment reveals rapid fluid flow and low effective porosity in the upper oceanic crust

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Neira, N. M.; Clark, J. F.; Fisher, A. T.; Wheat, C. G.; Haymon, R. M.; Becker, K.

    2016-09-01

    Numerous field, laboratory, and modeling studies have explored the flows of fluid, heat, and solutes during seafloor hydrothermal circulation, but it has been challenging to determine transport rates and flow directions within natural systems. Here we present results from the first cross-hole tracer experiment in the upper oceanic crust, using four subseafloor borehole observatories equipped with autonomous samplers to track the transport of a dissolved tracer (sulfur hexafluoride, SF6) injected into a ridge-flank hydrothermal system. During the first three years after tracer injection, SF6 was transported both north and south through the basaltic aquifer. The observed tracer transport rate of ∼2-3 m/day is orders of magnitude greater than bulk rates of flow inferred from thermal and chemical observations and calculated with coupled fluid-heat flow simulations. Taken together, these results suggest that the effective porosity of the upper volcanic crust through which much tracer was transported is <1%, with fluid flowing rapidly along a few well-connected channels. This is consistent with the heterogeneous (layered, faulted, and/or fractured) nature of the volcanic upper oceanic crust.

  20. Fragments of the Vendian-Paleozoic oceanic crust of the Paleo-Asian Ocean in foldbelts (Altai-Sayan, Central Asia)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Safonova, I.; Buslov, M.

    2003-04-01

    Four main accretion-collision stages of the evolution of the Paleo-Asian ocean have been recognized in Altai-Sayan: 1) Early-Middle Cambrian, 2) Late Cambrian-Early Ordovician, 3) Devonian-Early Carboniferous and 4) Late Paleozoic. The 1st and 2nd stages characterize evolution of the Kuznetsk-Altai island-arc system, which was accreted to the Siberian continent. The third stage refers to two collisional events during the closing of the Paleo-Asian Ocean: the Gondwana-derived Altai-Mongolian terrane collided with the Siberian continent (D3), and the latter collided with the Kazakhstan continent (C2). Each stage was recorded in folded rock units. Paleooceanic crust fragments occur within accretionary wedges and suture zone. Their geological identification was supported by geochemical data. The better studied areas are Kurai and Katun accretionary wedges, Charysh-Terekta shear zone, and Chara ophiolitic suture zone. Identification of the Vendian-Early Carboniferous oceanic crust extended our knowledge about the Paleo-Asian Ocean evolution. The Kurai and Katun accretionary wedges recorded the Vendian-Cambrian stage of the Kuznetsk-Altai island arc evolution. The Charysh-Terekta zone resulted from the Late Devonian collision of the Altai-Mongolian terrane and the Siberian continent. The Chara ophiolitic suture was formed after the Late Carboniferous-Permian collision of the Siberian and Kazakhstan continents. The Kurai accretionary wedge is composed of the tectonic sheets of the Baratal paleoisland and Chagan-Uzun ophiolites. The Katun accretionary wedge involves paleo-oceanic island rock units: limestones, dolomites, siliceous shales, and basaltic flows. The Charysh-Terekta zone is composed of several tectonic lenses (e.g. Zasurin Formation) comprising sandstones, cherts, pillow-basalts, volcanoclastics, and gabbro-diabase sills and dikes. The Chara ophiolitic belt consists of several melange zones with high-pressure metamorphic rocks (metabasaltic rocks) metamorphosed

  1. Modification of an oceanic plateau, Aruba, Dutch Caribbean: Implications for the generation of continental crust

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    White, R. V.; Tarney, J.; Kerr, A. C.; Saunders, A. D.; Kempton, P. D.; Pringle, M. S.; Klaver, G. T.

    1999-01-01

    The generation of the continental crust may be connected to mantle plume activity. However, the nature of this link, and the processes involved, are not well constrained. An obstacle to understanding relationships between plume-related mafic material and associated silicic rocks is that later tectonic movements are liable to obscure the original relationships, particularly in ancient greenstone belts. Studies of younger analogous regions may help to clarify these relationships. On the island of Aruba in the southern Caribbean, a sequence of partly deformed mafic volcanic rocks intruded by a predominantly tonalitic batholith is exposed. The mafic lavas show geochemical and isotopic affinities with other basaltic, picritic and komatiitic rocks that crop out elsewhere in the Caribbean—these are well documented as belonging to an 88-91 Ma plume-related oceanic plateau, which is allochthonous with respect to the Americas, and is thought to have been formed in the Pacific region. The ˜85 to ˜82 Ma tonalitic rocks share some geochemical characteristics (high Sr and Ba, low Nb and Y) with Archaean tonalite-trondhjemite-granodiorite (TTG) suites. Field relationships suggest that deformation of the plateau sequence, possibly related to collision with a subduction zone, was synchronous with intrusion of the Aruba batholith. New incremental heating 40Ar/ 39Ar dates, combined with existing palaeontological evidence, show that cooling of the batholith occurred shortly after eruption of the plateau basalt sequence. Sr-Nd isotopic data for both rock suites are uniform ( 87Sr/ 86Sr i≈0.7035 , ɛNd i≈+7), whereas Pb isotopes are more variable (Plateau sequence: 206Pb/ 204Pb =18.6-19.1 , 207Pb/ 204Pb =15.54-15.60 , 208Pb/ 204Pb =38.3-38.75 ; Aruba batholith: 206Pb/ 204Pb =18.4-18.9 , 207Pb/ 204Pb =15.51-15.56 , 208Pb/ 204Pb =38.0-38.5 ). This suggests that there has been a minor sedimentary input into the source region of the batholith. However, the limited time interval

  2. Fe-XANES analyses of Reykjanes Ridge basalts: Implications for oceanic crust's role in the solid Earth oxygen cycle

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shorttle, Oliver; Moussallam, Yves; Hartley, Margaret E.; Maclennan, John; Edmonds, Marie; Murton, Bramley J.

    2015-10-01

    The cycling of material from Earth's surface environment into its interior can couple mantle oxidation state to the evolution of the oceans and atmosphere. A major uncertainty in this exchange is whether altered oceanic crust entering subduction zones can carry the oxidised signal it inherits during alteration at the ridge into the deep mantle for long-term storage. Recycled oceanic crust may be entrained into mantle upwellings and melt under ocean islands, creating the potential for basalt chemistry to constrain solid Earth-hydrosphere redox coupling. Numerous independent observations suggest that Iceland contains a significant recycled oceanic crustal component, making it an ideal locality to investigate links between redox proxies and geochemical indices of enrichment. We have interrogated the elemental, isotope and redox geochemistry of basalts from the Reykjanes Ridge, which forms a 700 km transect of the Iceland plume. Over this distance, geophysical and geochemical tracers of plume influence vary dramatically, with the basalts recording both long- and short-wavelength heterogeneity in the Iceland plume. We present new high-precision Fe-XANES measurements of Fe3+ / ∑ Fe on a suite of 64 basalt glasses from the Reykjanes Ridge. These basalts exhibit positive correlations between Fe3+ / ∑ Fe and trace element and isotopic signals of enrichment, and become progressively oxidised towards Iceland: fractionation-corrected Fe3+ / ∑ Fe increases by ∼0.015 and ΔQFM by ∼0.2 log units. We rule out a role for sulfur degassing in creating this trend, and by considering various redox melting processes and metasomatic source enrichment mechanisms, conclude that an intrinsically oxidised component within the Icelandic mantle is required. Given the previous evidence for entrained oceanic crustal material within the Iceland plume, we consider this the most plausible carrier of the oxidised signal. To determine the ferric iron content of the recycled component ([Fe2O

  3. Platinum group elements and gold in ferromanganese crusts from Afanasiy-Nikitin seamount, equatorial Indian Ocean: Sources and fractionation

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Banakar, V.K.; Hein, J.R.; Rajani, R.P.; Chodankar, A.R.

    2007-01-01

    The major element relationships in ferromanganese (Fe-Mn) crusts from Afanasiy-Nikitin seamount (ANS), eastern equatorial Indian Ocean, appear to be atypical. High positive correlations (r = 0.99) between Mn/Co and Fe/Co ratios, and lack of correlation of those ratios with Co, Ce, and Ce/Co, indicate that the ANS Fe-Mn crusts are distinct from Pacific seamount Fe-Mn crusts, and reflect region-specific chemical characteristics. The platinum group elements (PGE: Ir, Ru, Rh, Pt, and Pd) and Au in ANS Fe-Mn crusts are derived from seawater and are mainly of terrestrial origin, with a minor cosmogenic component. The Ru/Rh (0.5-2) and Pt/Ru ratios (7-28) are closely comparable to ratios in continental basalts, whereas Pd/Ir ratios exhibit values ( 0.75) correlations between water depth and Mn/Co, Fe/Co, Ce/Co, Co, and the PGEs. Fractionation of the PGE-Au from seawater during colloidal precipitation of the major-oxide phases is indicated by well-defined linear positive correlations (r > 0.8) of Co and Ce with Ir, Ru, Rh, and Pt; Au/Co with Mn/Co; and by weak or no correlations of Pd with water depth, Co-normalized major-element ratios, and with the other PGE (r < 0.5). The strong enrichment of Pt (up to 1 ppm) relative to the other PGE and its positive correlations with Ce and Co demonstrate a common link for the high concentrations of all three elements, which likely involves an oxidation reaction on the Mn-oxide and Fe-oxyhydroxide surfaces. The documented fractionation of PGE-Au and their positive association with redox sensitive Co and Ce may have applications in reconstructing past-ocean redox conditions and water masses.

  4. Evidence for biogenic processes during formation of ferromanganese crusts from the Pacific Ocean: implications of biologically induced mineralization.

    PubMed

    Wang, Xiao-Hong; Schlossmacher, Ute; Natalio, Filipe; Schröder, Heinz C; Wolf, Stephan E; Tremel, Wolfgang; Müller, Werner E G

    2009-01-01

    Ferromanganese [Fe/Mn] crusts formed on basaltic seamounts, gain considerable economic importance due to their high content of Co, Ni, Cu, Zn and Pt. The deposits are predominantly found in the Pacific Ocean in depths of over 1000m. They are formed in the mixing layer between the upper oxygen-minimum zone and the lower oxygen-rich bottom zone. At present an almost exclusive abiogenic origin of crust formation is considered. We present evidence that the upper layers of the crusts from the Magellan Seamount cluster are very rich in coccoliths/coccolithophores (calcareous phytoplankton) belonging to different taxa. Rarely intact skeletons of these unicellular algae are found, while most of them are disintegrated into their composing prisms or crystals. Studies on the chemical composition of crust samples by high resolution SEM combined with an electron probe microanalyzer (EPMA) revealed that they are built of distinct stacked piles of individual compartments. In the center of such piles Mn is the dominant element, while the rims of the piles are rich in Fe (mineralization aspect). The compartments contain coccospheres usually at the basal part. Energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDX) analyses showed that those coccospheres contain, as expected, CaCO3 but also Mn-oxide. Detailed analysis displayed on the surface of the coccolithophores a high level of CaCO3 while the concentration of Mn-oxide is relatively small. With increasing distance from the coccolithophores the concentration of Mn-oxide increases on the expense of residual CaCO3. We conclude that coccoliths/coccolithophores are crucial for the seed/nucleation phase of crust formation (biomineralization aspect). Subsequently, after the biologically induced mineralization phase Mn-oxide deposition proceeds "auto"catalytically. PMID:19443230

  5. Chlorine isotope geochemistry of hydrothermally altered oceanic crust: Mineralogical controls and experimental constraints

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cisneros, M.; Barnes, J.; Jenkins, D. M.; Gardner, J. E.

    2012-12-01

    Chlorine stable isotopes (37Cl and 35Cl) can provide an important fingerprint for geochemical recycling of subducted oceanic lithosphere and fluid-rock interaction due to chlorine's high solubility in aqueous phases. To implement Cl isotopes as a tracer of volatile element recycling, we must constrain the δ37Cl value of potential Cl reservoirs and determine fractionation factors between Cl-bearing phases. δ37Cl and Cl concentrations of hydrothermally altered oceanic crust (AOC) samples from seven IODP/ODP/DSDP drill sites have been measured on bulk rock samples (n = 50). For ease of comparing results, samples are categorized into three lithologies: 1) extrusive lavas, 2) sheeted dikes, and 3) gabbros. Extrusive lava Cl concentrations vary from <0.01 wt% to 0.03 wt% (avg = 95 ppm Cl; n= 20) and δ37Cl values range from -1.4 to +1.0‰ (avg = 0.0 ± 0.6‰). Chlorine concentrations of the sheeted dikes range from < 0.01 wt% to 0.05 wt% (avg = 163 ppm Cl; n = 11) and δ37Cl values of dikes range from - 0.4 to + 1.4‰ (avg = 0.1 ± 0.3‰). Bulk chlorine concentrations of the gabbros range from < 0.01 wt% to 0.09 wt% (avg = 244 ppm Cl; n = 19). δ37Cl values of gabbros range from - 0.6 to + 1.8‰ (avg = 0.6 ± 0.6‰). Three general conclusions can be derived from these AOC bulk rock results: 1) δ37Cl values and Cl concentrations increase with increasing total amphibole content. 2) Based on re-calculations of mass balance equations using updated AOC Cl concentrations (~3 times higher than previous estimates, this study), the total amount of Cl recycled into the mantle is higher than previously estimated. 3) [Cl] and δ37Cl values can provide a crude estimate of metamorphic grade in AOC samples. Amphibole-water Cl isotope fractionation experiments are necessary for quantifying the magnitude of Cl fractionation and to aid in interpreting the range of natural Cl isotope variation. Determination of equilibrium fractionation factors between hydrous minerals and co

  6. Atmospheric contamination of the primary Ne and Ar signal in mid-ocean ridge basalts and its implications for ocean crust formation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stroncik, N. A.; Niedermann, S.

    2016-01-01

    Both, terrestrial and extra-terrestrial applications of noble gases have demonstrated their importance as tracers for source identification, process characterisation and mass and heat flux quantification. However, the interpretation of noble gas isotope data from terrestrial igneous rocks is often complicated by the ubiquitous presence of heavy noble gases (Ne, Ar, Kr, Xe) with an atmospheric origin. Up to now there has been no consensus on how atmospheric noble gases are entrained into igneous rocks. Suggested processes range from contamination during sample preparation to mantle recycling through subduction. Here we present Ne, Ar, Mg, K, and Cl data of fresh glasses from the Mid-Atlantic Ridge north and south of the Ascension Fracture Zone which show that incorporation of atmospheric noble gases into igneous rocks is in general a two-step process: (1) magma contamination by assimilation of altered oceanic crust results in the entrainment of noble gases from air-equilibrated seawater; (2) atmospheric noble gases are adsorbed onto grain surfaces during sample preparation. This implies, considering the ubiquitous presence of the contamination signal, that magma contamination by assimilation of a seawater-sourced component is an integral part of mid-ocean ridge basalt evolution. Combining the results obtained from noble gas and Cl/K data with estimates of crystallisation pressures for the sample suite shows that the magma contamination must have taken place at a depth between 9 and 13 km. Taking thickness estimates for the local oceanic crust into account, this implies that seawater penetration in this area reaches lower crustal levels, indicating that hydrothermal circulation might be an effective cooling mechanism even for the deep parts of the oceanic crust.

  7. Oceanic Character of Sub-Salt Crust in the NW Gulf of Mexico (GOM) Using Seismic Refraction and Reflection Data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Karner, G. D.; Johnson, C. A.

    2015-12-01

    Significant renewed interest in the geological development of the NW GOM is exemplified by the acquisition of academic seismic refraction and oil industry seismic reflection data. There is agreement that the GOM formed by Jurassic separation of North America and Yucatan, but disagreements remain on the distribution and timing of extended continental versus oceanic crust. Van Avendonk et al. (Geology, v43, 2015) interpreted seismic refraction data from the 2010 "GUMBO" expedition as rifted continental crust thinned by large-scale extensional faulting and syn-rift magmatism beneath the NW GOM. However, seismic reflection evidence for this extension is non-existent, and diagnostic fault-controlled syn-rift packages are not resolved. A very different interpretation of basement type and basin evolution is possible by applying geological process linked to hyper-extended margin formation to the same data. We note: 1) Base salt and Moho interfaces are well imaged; top basement is not resolved. We interpret a pre-salt sedimentary sequence 5-10 km thick, with velocities up to 6 km/s; high velocities in this sequence likely relate to greenschist-facies metamorphism associated with early high heat flow and deep burial. 2) Velocities of 6-8 km/s characterize crystalline basement but do not uniquely determine crustal type (i.e., velocity does not equate to rock type). Lateral variations (0-8 km) in crustal thickness are consistent with slow/ultra-slow seafloor spreading. 3) The undeformed base salt reflector and pre-salt sediment sequence imply a post-kinematic setting and a substantial delay between breakup and Callovian salt deposition. 4) Liassic Central Atlantic breakup is kinematically linked to the GOM and related SDR magmatism. Inboard SDRs, observed on both conjugate margins of the GOM, imply outboard oceanic crust. Together, these observations are consistent with regional sub-salt basement of early-mid Jurassic slow/ultra-slow spreading oceanic crust, associated with

  8. Activity and phylogenetic diversity of sulfate-reducing microorganisms in low-temperature subsurface fluids within the upper oceanic crust

    PubMed Central

    Robador, Alberto; Jungbluth, Sean P.; LaRowe, Douglas E.; Bowers, Robert M.; Rappé, Michael S.; Amend, Jan P.; Cowen, James P.

    2015-01-01

    The basaltic ocean crust is the largest aquifer system on Earth, yet the rates of biological activity in this environment are unknown. Low-temperature (<100°C) fluid samples were investigated from two borehole observatories in the Juan de Fuca Ridge (JFR) flank, representing a range of upper oceanic basement thermal and geochemical properties. Microbial sulfate reduction rates (SRR) were measured in laboratory incubations with 35S-sulfate over a range of temperatures and the identity of the corresponding sulfate-reducing microorganisms (SRM) was studied by analyzing the sequence diversity of the functional marker dissimilatory (bi)sulfite reductase (dsrAB) gene. We found that microbial sulfate reduction was limited by the decreasing availability of organic electron donors in higher temperature, more altered fluids. Thermodynamic calculations indicate energetic constraints for metabolism, which together with relatively higher cell-specific SRR reveal increased maintenance requirements, consistent with novel species-level dsrAB phylotypes of thermophilic SRM. Our estimates suggest that microbially-mediated sulfate reduction may account for the removal of organic matter in fluids within the upper oceanic crust and underscore the potential quantitative impact of microbial processes in deep subsurface marine crustal fluids on marine and global biogeochemical carbon cycling. PMID:25642212

  9. P-wave velocity and anisotropy of lawsonite and epidote blueschists: Constraints on water transportation along subducting oceanic crust

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fujimoto, Yoshikazu; Kono, Yoshio; Hirajima, Takao; Kanagawa, Kyuichi; Ishikawa, Masahiro; Arima, Makoto; Suetsugu, Daisuke; Bina, Craig; Inoue, Toru; Wiens, Douglas; Jellinek, Mark

    2010-11-01

    P-wave velocity (Vp) and the anisotropy of lawsonite and epidote blueschists were measured up to 1.0 GPa and 400 °C using the ultrasonic pulse transmission technique. The slowest Vp in the direction normal to foliation is similar between lawsonite and epidote blueschists (7.0-7.2 km/s at 1.0 GPa and room temperature), while the fastest Vp in the direction parallel to lineation markedly differs between lawsonite blueschists (7.4-7.6 km/s at 1.0 GPa and room temperature) and epidote blueschist (7.9 km/s at 1.0 GPa and room temperature). Crystallographic orientation measurements for main constituent minerals revealed that both epidote [0 1 0] axes (fastest Vp direction in epidote single crystal) and amphibole [0 0 1] axes (fastest Vp direction in amphibole single crystal) are preferentially oriented parallel to lineation to enhance Vp anisotropy of the epidote blueschist. In contrast, lawsonite [0 0 1] axes (fastest Vp direction in lawsonite single crystal) are oriented subnormal to foliation, whereas amphibole [0 0 1] axes are oriented subparallel to lineation, so that relatively weak Vp anisotropy was observed in the lawsonite blueschist. Our experimental results, in conjunction with recent seismological observations, suggest that the Vp of the subducting oceanic crust at <50 km beneath NE and SW Japan is similar to those of blueschists (9-12% lower Vp than peridotite). In contrast, the Vp in the subducting oceanic crust markedly increases at deeper than ∼50 km depth beneath NE Japan, and such a slight low-velocity layer (5-8% slower Vp) at >∼50 km has been observed in several subducting slabs. However, the high Vp values at >∼50 km depth are difficult to be explained by blueschists. This indicates that the blueschist would be at least partially transformed to hydrous mineral-bearing eclogite at ∼50 km depth in subducting oceanic crusts.

  10. Sensitivity of elastic surface deformations caused by atmospheric, hydrologic, and oceanic loads to the Earth's crust and mantle properties

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dill, Robert; Klemann, Volker; Kaban, Mikhail; Dobslaw, Henryk; Thomas, Maik

    2016-04-01

    The elastic deformation of the Earth's surface due to atmospheric surface pressure, terrestrial water storage, and ocean bottom pressure on seasonal or shorter time scales is usually represented by a set of elastic load Love numbers or the corresponding Green's function, determined from a radial Earth structure like PREM. Thereby, the influence of local deviations of the Earth's crustal and mantle properties is assumed to be negligible. However, local Green's functions derived individually for 1° grid cells from the 3D crustal structure model CRUST1 show large variations for in particular smaller distance angles. The loading response due to small-scale surface loads extending over less than 2500km2 significantly depends on the heterogeneous shallow structure of the Earth. In this contribution, we discuss the influence of lateral variations in the crust and mantle structure on atmospheric, hydrologic, and oceanic surface loads with regard to their spatial scales and distribution. Non-tidal atmospheric loading is calculated from an atmospheric surface pressure time series covering four decades (1976 - 2015) based on 3-hourly atmospheric data of ECMWF that has been homogenized by mapping surface pressure to a common reference orography. Hydrological loading is calculated for daily terrestrial water storage from LSDM over the same time period, where the surface water compartment is mapped from the 0.5° model resolution to a 0.125° GIS-based river network. Ocean tidal loading is exemplarily calculated based on the FES2014 ocean tidal model (0.0625°). Especially along the coasts of the oceans; in regions with steep orographic gradients; and in areas with thick crustal layers or sediments we will show the significant influence of the Earth's structure on small-scale deformation features caused by surface loads.

  11. Slab-derived water and the petrogenesis of distinct zones of oceanic crust along spreading centers in the Lau back-arc basin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Eason, Deborah; Dunn, Robert

    2014-05-01

    Back-arc basin crust formed along the Eastern Lau Spreading Center (ELSC) exhibits dramatic and abrupt changes in magmatic processes and crustal formation with proximity to the nearby Tofua Arc. Systematic variations in seafloor morphology, crustal thickness, seismic properties, and lava composition reflect a decreasing 'subduction influence' with increasing distance from the arc. Results from seismic tomography indicate that the crust that forms near the arc is abnormally thick and compositionally stratified, with a thick low-velocity upper crust and an abnormally high-velocity lower crust. As the ridge moves away from the arc, there is a step-like transition in crustal properties towards crustal velocities and thicknesses more typical of oceanic crust produced at mid-ocean ridges. Likewise, lava compositions exhibit abrupt changes in slab-derived volatiles and trace element enrichments, with silicic, arc-like compositions at the Valu Fa Ridge and southern half of the ELSC, located near the arc, and relatively depleted basalts along the northern ELSC, which is located further from the arc. We attribute the observed changes in the physical and chemical makeup of the crust to excess mantle melting coupled with higher degrees of crustal differentiation near the arc due to higher mantle water contents. We propose a model for the formation of the arc-proximal layered crust whereby water-rich basaltic melts stall and differentiate in the lower crust. High-pressure crystallization concentrates water in the residual melts, decreasing their viscosity and density. Eventually the lighter, more felsic residual melts are extracted from the lower crust, leaving behind a dense, mafic cumulate layer, and go on to produce a silica-rich, porous volcanic layer. We present results of thermodynamic modeling of phase equilibria and develop a petrological model for the formation of this unusual "hydrous" form of oceanic crust.

  12. Distribution and sources of pre-anthropogenic lead isotopes in deep ocean water from Fe-Mn crusts

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Von Blanckenburg, F.; O'Nions, R. K.; Hein, J.R.

    1996-01-01

    The lead isotope composition of ocean water is not well constrained due to contamination by anthropogenic lead. Here the global distribution of lead isotopes in deep ocean water is presented as derived from dated (ca. 100 ka) surface layers of hydrogenetic Fe-Mn crusts. The results indicate that the radiogenic lead in North Atlantic deep water is probably supplied from the continents by river particulates, and that lead in Pacific deep water is similar to that characteristic of island and continental volcanic arcs. Despite a short residence time in deep water (80-100 a), the isotopes of lead appear to be exceedingly well mixed in the Pacific basin. There is no evidence for the import of North Atlantic deep water-derived lead into the Pacific ocean, nor into the North Indian Ocean. This implies that the short residence time of lead in deep water prohibits advection over such long distances. Consequently, any climate-induced changes in deep-water flow are not expected to result in major changes in the seawater Pb-isotope record of the Pacific Ocean.

  13. Distribution and sources of pre-anthropogenic lead isotopes in deep ocean water from Fesbnd Mn crusts

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    von Blanckenburg, F.; O'nions, R. K.; Heinz, J. R.

    1996-12-01

    The lead isotope composition of ocean water is not well constrained due to contamination by anthropogenic lead. Here the global distribution of lead isotopes in deep ocean water is presented as derived from dated (ca. 100 ka) surface layers of hydrogenetic Fe-Mn crusts. The results indicate that the radiogenic lead in North Atlantic deep water is probably supplied from the continents by river particulates, and that lead in Pacific deep water is similar to that characteristic of island and continental volcanic arcs. Despite a short residence time in deep water (80-100 a), the isotopes of lead appear to be exceedingly well mixed in the Pacific basin. There is no evidence for the import of North Atlantic deep water-derived lead into the Pacific ocean, nor into the North Indian Ocean. This implies that the short residence time of lead in deep water prohibits advection over such long distances. Consequently, any climate-induced changes in deep-water flow are not expected to result in major changes in the seawater Pb-isotope record of the Pacific Ocean.

  14. Igneous Cooling Rate constraints on the Accretion of the lower Oceanic Crust in Mid-ocean Ridges: Insights from a new Thermo-mechanical Model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Garrido, C. J.; Machetel, P.

    2005-12-01

    We report the results of a new thermo-mechanical model of crustal flow beneath fast spreading mid-ocean ridges to investigate both the effect of deep, near off-axis hydrothermal convection on the thermal structure of the magma chamber and the role of variable number of melt intrusions on the accretion of the oceanic crust. In our model the melt is injected at the center of the axial magma chamber with a 'needle' with adjustable porosity at different depths allowing the simulation of different arrangements of melt injection and supply within the magma chamber. Conversely to previous models, the shape of the magma chamber -defined as the isotherm where 95% solidification of the melt occurs- is not imposed but computed from the steady state reached by the thermal field considering the heat diffusion and advection and the latent heat of crystallization. The motion equation is solved for a temperature and phase dependent viscosity. The thermal diffusivity is also dependent on temperature and depth, with a higher diffusivity in the upper plutonic crust to account for more efficient hydrothermal cooling at these crustal levels. In agreement with previous non-dynamic thermal models, our results show that near, deep off-axis hydrothermal circulation strongly affects the shape of the axial magma by tightening isotherms in the upper half of the plutonic oceanic crust where hydrothermal cooling is more efficient. Different accretion modes have however little effect on the shape of the magma chamber, but result in variable arrangements of flow lines ranging from tent-shape in a single-lens accretion scenario to sub-horizontal in "sheeted-sill" intrusion models. For different intrusion models, we computed the average Igneous Cooling Rates (ICR) of gabbros by dividing the crystallization temperature interval of gabbros by the integrated time, from the initial intrusion to the point where it crossed the 950 °C isotherm where total solidification of gabbro occurs, along individual

  15. The Igneous Architecture of IODP Hole U1309D: Constructing Oceanic Crust from Multiple Sills

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Christofferson, C. A.; John, B. E.; Cheadle, M. J.; Swapp, S. M.; Grimes, C. B.

    2010-12-01

    Gabbroic rocks comprise a significant portion of the footwall of many oceanic core complexes. The decreasing age of these gabbros from the breakaway to the termination suggests that they are continuously accreted as the bounding detachment fault slips. But, questions remain; how are these large (>1 km diameter) gabbroic bodies constructed and at what scale and frequency is melt added to the system? Here we report a detailed lithologic analysis of IODP Hole U1309D drilled into the Atlantis Massif core complex (30° N, MAR). We present new, high resolution (1m scale) downhole lithological diagrams, compiled from observations of the archive core, refined using other available data including magnetic susceptibility. These data show that the thickness of the individual magmatic units is on the order of 1 to a few 10’s of m. Contacts between many of these units are sharp; many of the units are interpreted to result from small injections of melt as opposed to in-situ fractionation. However, these units are often disaggregated by later intrusive bodies and hence, it is likely that individual gabbro units were initially somewhat thicker. Downhole plots of magmatic fabric dip from both shipboard data and new electron backscatter diffraction (EBSD) data are consistent with the units having initially been intruded as sills, and subsequently rotated by ~40-50°, as constrained by paleomagnetic data (Morris et al., 2009). Using all of the available data, we propose the IODP Hole 1309D gabbro section is a composite body that grew episodically by relatively small (10’s m) repeated sill-like injections of melt. We conclude that the melt lens that formed these gabbros was relatively small at any one time. The EBSD data also provide textural constraints on the model for crustal accretion. Gabbroic samples analyzed so far show a moderate to weak plagioclase and clinopyroxene foliation, similar to those in continental mafic intrusions and are thus interpreted to be magmatic fabrics

  16. Continental growth through time by underplating of subducted oceanic crust: Evidence from kimberlites in South Africa and SW Pacific

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Taylor, Lawrence A.; Neal, Clive R.

    1988-01-01

    In the dynamic model of plate tectonics, it is evident that crustal components are returned to the mantle by subduction. Chemical signatures of these subducted components were identified in ocean island volcanics and in island arc volcanics. Indeed, an origin involving a subducted protolith was postulated for certain types of xenoliths in kimberlite, including diamonds. Recent studies of eclogite xenoliths in kimberlite from southern Africa and megacrysts form the Malaitan alnoite, Solomon islands, indicate that lithospheric underplating by subducted oceanic crust has occurred in these two contrasting areas. The results of new eclogite studies from the Bellsbank kimberlite, South Africa, and isotopic data from the Malaitan alnoite megacryst suite. This forms the basis for discerning the role of lithospheric underplating in the growth of cratons and in the evolution of mantle-derived magma.

  17. Million year cycles in the Fe, Mg and Ni records of a ferromanganese crust from the equatorial Indian Ocean

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Banerjee, R.; Gupta, S. M.; Miura, H.

    2008-12-01

    In search of long term productivity signals, a high resolution geochemical study was undertaken by using the life sustaining iron and magnesium contents in a slowly accreting 26 mm thick hydrogenous Fe-Mn crust representing around 12 Million years (Ma) record from the equatorial Indian Ocean. We analyzed Fe, Mg, Ni, Co, and other trace metals by using electron probe micro-analyzer at 100 micron interval. The geochemical data was averaged at every 1 mm interval and subjected to statistical analyses. The crust was dated using standard cobalt-chronometry (Manheim and Lane-Bostwick, 1998). Mixed age-depth model (Heegaard et al., 2005) was applied to ascertain the error limits in the computed ages for each millimeter of the crust. Thereafter, the Red-fit (Schulz and Mudelsee, 2002) and multi-taper (Thompson, 1990) spectral analyses of Fe, Mg and Ni revealed the existence of the significant (>90%) cycles at around 3, 1.5, and 1.2 Ma. We surmise that Fe and Mg cycles represented the changes in oceanic productivity as these metals are essentially used in sustaining the oceanic phyto- and zoo-plankton productivity in the surface water. The Fe/Ni ratio, which is attributed to meteoritic dust influx (Johnson, 2001), also revealed the similar cycles suggesting a possibility of Ni input from the meteoritic dust in the past. We compared the geochemical time- series data with the Earth's orbital eccentricity and summer solar insolation (Berger, 1979) at the equator for the last 10 million years. The Redfit and multi-taper analyses of the eccentricity and the insolation also resulted similar cycles at around 1.5 and 1.2 Ma. Therefore, we surmise that the Fe, Mg, and Ni cycles at 1.5, and 1.2 Ma could be result of the geochemical response to the Earth's eccentricity related solar insolation changes. Earlier studies reported cycles due to eccentricity (0.4, 0.126, 0.95 Ma), tilt (0.041 Ma) and precession (0.023 Ma) in Indian Ocean, whereas we report here 3, 1.5 and 1.2 Ma supra

  18. Consequences of Rift Propagation for Spreading in Thick Oceanic Crust in Iceland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Karson, J. A.

    2015-12-01

    Iceland has long been considered a natural laboratory for processes related to seafloor spreading, including propagating rifts, migrating transforms and rotating microplates. The thick, hot, weak crust and subaerial processes of Iceland result in variations on the themes developed along more typical parts of the global MOR system. Compared to most other parts of the MOR, Icelandic rift zones and transform faults are wider and more complex. Rift zones are defined by overlapping arrays of volcanic/tectonic spreading segments as much as 50 km wide. The most active rift zones propagate N and S away from the Iceland hot spot causing migration of transform faults. A trail of crust deformed by bookshelf faulting forms in their wakes. Dead or dying transform strands are truncated along pseudofaults that define propagation rates close to the full spreading rate of ~20 mm/yr. Pseudofaults are blurred by spreading across wide rift zones and laterally extensive subaerial lava flows. Propagation, with decreasing spreading toward the propagator tips causes rotation of crustal blocks on both sides of the active rift zones. The blocks deform internally by the widespread reactivation of spreading-related faults and zones of weakness along dike margins. The sense of slip on these rift-parallel strike-slip faults is inconsistent with transform-fault deformation. These various deformation features as well as subaxial subsidence that accommodate the thickening of the volcanic upper crustal units are probably confined to the brittle, seismogenic, upper 10 km of the crust. At least beneath the active rift zones, the upper crust is probably decoupled from hot, mechanically weak middle and lower gabbroic crust resulting in a broad plate boundary zone between the diverging lithosphere plates. Similar processes may occur at other types of propagating spreading centers and magmatic rifts.

  19. Preliminary Results on the Structure of Ocean Crust from new Holes Drilled in Fast-Spread Crust During ODP Leg 206

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tartarotti, P.; Crispini, L.

    2003-12-01

    ODP Leg 206 successfully accomplished the initial phase of a multi-leg drilling program that aims to sample a complete section of upper oceanic crust through the extrusive lavas, the sheeted dike complex, and into the gabbros. Drilling was conducted at Site 1256 (6.7N, 91.9W), which resides on 15-Ma oceanic lithosphere of the Cocos plate that was created by superfast seafloor spreading (~220 mm/yr). Two holes, 1256C and 1256D were drilled into the basement to a depth of 340.3 mbsf (89.6 m sub-basement) and 752 mbsf (502 m sub-basement) respectively. The main stratigraphy of upper oceanic crust at Site 1256 consists of a sequence of massive flows and thin sheet flows with minor amounts of pillow basalts and breccias. The sequence is slightly altered and has N-MORB composition. Structural analysis carried out on board on the recovered cores from both Holes 1256C and 1256D revealed the occurrence of primary igneous as well as post-magmatic structures. Primary igneous features include magmatic fabrics, laminations and flattened vesicles, folds and shear-related structures, late magmatic veins, and fracturing. Postmagmatic structures include veins, shear veins, microfaults, joints, and breccia. Veins are the most prominent structural features and show a variety of morphologies ranging from planar and curviliear to anastomosing. In many cases veins are oriented in en echelon, and Riedel-shear arrays, giving in such case useful shear indications. Shear veins are mostly present in massive coarser-grained lithologic units and are filled with fibrous clay minerals. Shear veins and microfaults indicate both strike-slip and oblique apparent senses of shear. In Hole 1256D shear veins show a change in the sense of shear, from reverse to normal, from ~645 mbsf to the bottom of the hole. More than 600 veins and joints from the basement units of Hole C and more than 1700 features from Hole D were measured in the archive half relative to the core barrel reference frame. True dip

  20. The age and emplacement of obducted oceanic crust in the Urals from Sm-Nd and Rb-Sr systematics

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Edwards, R. L.; Wassburg, G. J.

    1985-01-01

    The Sm-Nd and Rb-Sr isotopic characteristics of two mafic-ultramafic bodies, the Kemperai Massif in the South Ural Mountains and the Voykar-syninsky Massif in the Polar Ural mountains are examined. The data are found to be consistent with the hypothesis that these bodies represent fragments of old oceanic crust. Whole rock samples of pillow basalt, troctolite, gabbros, diabase, and a metasediment give Sm-Nd values which lie on this isochron indicating that the rock units are genetically related and formed 397 My ago. Basic and ultrabasic rocks from Kempersai and Voykar-Syninsky have an initial isotopic composition at time T, epsilon Nd(397 My), of +8.4, indicating derivation for an ancient depleted mantle source. The Sr isotopic data and the correlation with epsilon Nd indicate extensive alteration by seawater which is particularly strong on ultrabasic rocks. The results show that the segments of oceanic crust formed at least 80 My before the collision that produced the Urals.

  1. Hydrothermal activity in Tertiary Icelandic crust: Implication for cooling processes along slow-spreading mid-ocean ridges

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pałgan, D.; Devey, C. W.; Yeo, I. A.

    2015-12-01

    Known hydrothermal activity along the Mid-Atlantic Ridge is mostly high-temperature venting, controlled by volcano-tectonic processes confined to ridge axes and neotectonic zones ~15km wide on each side of the axis (e.g. TAG or Snake Pit). However, extensive exploration and discoveries of new hydrothermal fields in off-axis regions (e.g. Lost City, MAR) show that hydrothermalism may, in some areas, be dominated by off-axis venting. Little is known about nature of such systems, including whether low-temperature "diffuse" venting dominates rather than high-temperature black-smokers. This is particularly interesting since such systems may transport up to 90% of the hydrothermal heat to the oceans. In this study we use Icelandic hot springs as onshore analogues for off-shore hydrothermal activity along the MAR to better understand volcano-tectonic controls on their occurrence, along with processes supporting fluid circulation. Iceland is a unique laboratory to study how new oceanic crust cools and suggests that old crust may not be as inactive as previously thought. Our results show that Tertiary (>3.3 Myr) crust of Iceland (Westfjords) has widespread low-temperature hydrothermal activity. Lack of tectonism (indicated by lack of seismicity), along with field research suggest that faults in Westfjords are no longer active and that once sealed, can no longer support hydrothermal circulation, i.e. none of the hot springs in the area occur along faults. Instead, dyke margins provide open and permeable fluid migration pathways. Furthermore, we suggest that the Reykjanes Ridge (south of Iceland) may be similar to Westfjords with hydrothermalism dominated by off-axis venting. Using bathymetric data we infer dyke positions and suggest potential sites for future exploration located away from neotectonic zone. We also emphasise the importance of biological observations in seeking for low-temperature hydrothermal activity, since chemical or optical methods are not sufficient.

  2. Exhumation of an unusually large, ~3000 km3 coherent block of oceanic crust from >40 km depth

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Barrow, Wendy; Metcalf, Rodney; Fairhurst, Robert

    2010-05-01

    The Central Metamorphic terrane (CMt) is an unusually large (~3000 km3) coherent block of mid-ocean ridge (MOR) metabasites; the first one of this scale reported with eclogite facies relicts, decompression assemblages, and thermobarometry indicating exhumation of the entire block from >40 km depth. The CMt is exposed in the eastern Klamath Mountains of northern California and is dominantly an amphibolite facies metabasite which represents remnant oceanic crust subducted in a mid-Paleozoic Pacific-type margin. Thermochronology indicates that the CMt was subsequently exhumed along the Trinity fault during an early Permian extensional event. Newly discovered relict textures with new thermobarometry results suggest the CMt metabasites record the retrograde segment of the P-T-deformation-time path during exhumation from hornblende eclogite facies P-T conditions. A decompression and cooling sequence consisting of rutile cores within ilmenite crystals mantled by titanite is observed in CMt amphibolite samples. Zr-in-rutile thermometry combined with experimental data for rutile stability in metabasites suggests that relict rutile crystals preserve early P-T conditions of ~600° C and >1.3 GPa. Transition from eclogite facies is further supported by ilmenite-plagioclase-amphibole symplectites suggesting replacement of garnet or omphacite during decompression. The dominant mineral assemblages and metamorphic fabrics indicate dynamic recrystallization of metabasites during declining P-T conditions through amphibolite - epidote amphibolite facies. Exhumation via extension along the Trinity fault is suggested by the coplanar relationship between metabasite decompression-related deformation fabrics and the Trinity fault. We propose that subducted oceanic crust (CMt) was subsequently exhumed as a large coherent block from depths >40 km. This is significant because the conversion of mafic oceanic crust to eclogite produces the negative buoyancy (relative to mantle peridotite) that

  3. Ocean-continent transition and tectonic framework of the oceanic crust at the continental margin off NE Brazil: Results of LEPLAC project

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gomes, Paulo Otávio; Gomes, Benedito S.; Palma, Jorge J. C.; Jinno, Koji; de Souza, Jairo M.

    In 1992, Brazilian Navy and PETROBRAS carried out a geophysical survey along the continental margin off northeastern Brazil, as part of a governmental plan to delineate the "Legal Continental Shelf" according to the international Law of the Sea. This data set is leading to a better understanding of the crustal transition processes and on the evolution of the oceanic crust over that part of the Brazilian continental margin. On our seismic transects, we show a rifted marginal plateau (Pernambuco Plateau) where crustal extension was controlled by detachment faulting, possibly in a non-volcanic margin setting. Farther north, dealing with the ocean-continent transition nearby a major transform margin, we found a normal passive margin-style transition zone instead of transform-related structures. With the support of multichannel seismic profiles and gravity data derived from GEOSAT altimetry, several well-known oceanic fracture zones and structural lineaments were properly located and correlated. The relationship of these structures with volcanic ridges and extensional, compressive and strike-slip tectonic reactivations suggests that fracture zones at this area behaved either as zones of weakness or as locked transform fault scars. Striking lithospheric flexural deformation is also related to FZs in this region. In the surroundings of the Fernando de Noronha Ridge, lithospheric flexure represents an isostatic response to volcanic loading, while bending across Ascension FZ is likely to have been caused by differential subsidence in crustal segments of contrasting ages. We also correlate some other deformation of the oceanic crust with changes in spreading directions that possibly took place at the Upper Cretaceous.

  4. Seismic evidence of bending and unbending of subducting oceanic crust and the presence of mantle megathrust in the 2004 Great Sumatra earthquake rupture zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Singh, Satish C.; Chauhan, Ajay P. S.; Calvert, Andrew J.; Hananto, Nugroho D.; Ghosal, Dibakar; Rai, Abhishek; Carton, Helene

    2012-03-01

    In subduction zones the plate interface (megathrust) is typically poorly imaged at depths > 12 km, however its precise geometry and nature as well as the positions of updip and downdip limits of the seismogenic zone are important elements to understand the generation of megathrust earthquakes. Using deep marine seismic reflection and refraction data, we observed discontinuous reflections off the top of the subducting oceanic crust down to 60 km depth in the 2004 great Sumatra-Andaman earthquake rupture zone. We find that the top of the downgoing plate does not dip gently into the subduction zone but instead displays a staircase geometry with three successive, 5-15 km vertical steps, spaced ~ 50 km apart. Micro-earthquake data indicate that most of the seismicity lies below this interface, suggesting that the oceanic plate is deforming actively. Along part of the profile, we also image a second reflector located 8-10 km below the top of the oceanic crust. The forward modelling of the gravity data along the profile supports the presence of a high-density material above this reflector. The presence of a staircase shape for the top of the oceanic crust, together with constraints from gravity data and earthquake data, require that the megathrust goes through this second reflector. This leads us to conclude that the megathrust is at least partly located in the oceanic mantle and that underplating of oceanic crust beneath the wedge and underplating of upper mantle beneath the forearc basin are taking place in this region.

  5. Uranium isotope systematics of ferromanganese crusts in the Pacific Ocean: Implications for the marine 238U/235U isotope system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Goto, Kosuke T.; Anbar, Ariel D.; Gordon, Gwyneth W.; Romaniello, Stephen J.; Shimoda, Gen; Takaya, Yutaro; Tokumaru, Ayaka; Nozaki, Tatsuo; Suzuki, Katsuhiko; Machida, Shiki; Hanyu, Takeshi; Usui, Akira

    2014-12-01

    Variations of 238U/235U ratio (δ238U) in sedimentary rocks have been proposed as a possible proxy for the paleo-oceanic redox conditions, although the marine δ238U system is not fully understood. Here we investigate the spatial variation of δ238U in modern ferromanganese (Fe-Mn) crusts by analyzing U isotopes in the surface (0-3 mm depth) layer of 19 Fe-Mn crusts collected from 6 seamounts in the Pacific Ocean. δ238U values in the surface layers show little variation and range from -0.59‰ to -0.69‰. The uniformity of δ238U values is consistent with the long residence time of U in modern seawater, although the δ238U values are lighter than that of present-day seawater by ∼0.24‰. The light δ238U values are consistent with the isotope offset observed in previously reported adsorption experiment of U to Mn oxide. These results indicate that removal of U from seawater to Mn oxide is responsible for the second largest U isotope fractionation in the modern marine system, and could contribute to isotopically heavy U to seawater. Depth profiles of U isotopes (δ234U and δ238U) in two Fe-Mn crusts (MR12-03_D06-R01 and MC10_CB07_B), dated by Os isotope stratigraphy, were investigated to reconstruct the evolution of the oceanic redox state during the Cenozoic. The δ238U depth profiles show very limited ranges (-0.57‰ to -0.67‰ for MR12-03_D06-R01 and -0.56‰ to -0.69‰ for MC10_CB07_B), and have values that are similar to those of the surface layers of Fe-Mn crusts. The absence of any resolvable variation in the δ238U depth profiles may suggest that the relative amounts of oxic and reducing U sinks have not varied significantly over the past 45 Myr. However, the δ234U depth profiles of the same samples show evidence for the possible redistribution of 234U after deposition. Therefore, the depth profile of δ238U in Fe-Mn crusts may have been also overprinted by later chemical exchange with pore-water or seawater, and may not reflect the paleo-oceanic

  6. Seismic velocity structure at Deep Sea Drilling Project site 504B, Panama Basin: Evidence for thin oceanic crust

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Collins, John A.; Purdy, Michael G.; Brocher, Thomas M.

    1989-07-01

    We present an analysis of wide-angle reflection/refraction data collected in the immediate vicinity of Deep Sea Drilling Project hole 504B in the Panama Basin, currently the deepest drill hole (1.288 km) into oceanic crust. The data were acquired with a 1785 inch3 air gun array and fixed-gain sonobuoy receivers and consist of four intersecting profiles shot along three different azimuths. Near-normal-incidence, multichannel seismic (MCS) reflection data were acquired simultaneously. Observed P and S wave arrivals out to maximum ranges of 30 km provide constraints on the velocity structure of the middle and lower crust and on total crustal thickness. Comparison of the travel times and amplitudes of the P and S wave arrivals on all four profiles revealed important similarities which were modeled using the reflectivity synthetic seismogram method. Forward modeling shows that in contrast to standard oceanic velocity models, a velocity-depth profile that better explains the observed data is characterized by high-velocity gradients (up to 0.6 km/s/km) in the middle crust, a 1.8-km-thick low-velocity zone (Vp = 7.1-6.7 km/s) immediately above Moho, and a total crustal thickness of only 5 km. Interpretation of the high-velocity gradients in the middle crust is constrained by the observation of P wave amplitude focusing at ranges of 16-19 km. Although not as well developed in comparison to the P wave arrivals, S wave arrivals show similar focusing. Total crustal thickness is constrained by the combined interpretation of a P wave, wide-angle reflection event observed at a range of 16-28 km and an MCS reflection event with a crustal travel time of 1.4-1.5 s. Although these events cannot be directly correlated, their travel times are consistent with the assumption that both have a common origin. Amplitude modeling of the wide-angle event demonstrates that these events are generated at the Moho.

  7. Downhole images: Electrical scanning reveals the nature of subsurface oceanic crust

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pezard, Philippe; Lovell, Mike

    High-resolution electrical images of oceanic sediments exposed by drilling are permitting scientists to make detailed evaluation of the record preserved in the rocks, particularly in intervals where little core was recovered. The images are generated from measurements taken with a slimhole Formation Micro-Scanner (FMS), developed by Schlumberger specifically for the Ocean Drilling Program (ODP). The new measurement technique was used in May 1989 on ODP Leg 126 in two holes drilled in the Izu-Bonin intra-oceanic volcanic arc (Figure 1), which extends south of Honshu to Iwo Jima, Japan.

  8. Seismic properties of subducting oceanic crust: Constraints from natural lawsonite-bearing blueschist and eclogite in Sivrihisar Massif, Turkey

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cao, Yi; Jung, Haemyeong

    2016-01-01

    Investigating the seismic properties of natural lawsonite (Lws)-bearing blueschist and eclogite is particularly important for constraining the seismic interpretation of subducting oceanic crust based on seismological observations. To achieve this end, we analyzed in detail the mineral fabrics and seismic properties of foliated Lws-blueschist and Lws-eclogites from Sivrihisar Massif in Turkey. In both blueschists and eclogites, the lawsonite fabric is characterized by three different patterns: [0 0 1] axes aligning sub-normal to foliation, and [0 1 0] axes aligning sub-parallel to lineation (normal type); [0 0 1] axes aligning sub-parallel to lineation, and [1 0 0] axes aligning sub-normal to foliation with a girdle sub-normal to lineation (abnormal type); and [0 0 1] axes aligning both sub-normal to foliation and sub-parallel to lineation, [0 1 0] axes aligning sub-parallel to lineation, and [1 0 0] axes aligning sub-normal to foliation (transitional pattern). In contrast, glaucophane and omphacite mostly present consistent axial fabrics with the [0 0 1] axes aligning to lineation. These mineral fabrics produce whole-rock seismic anisotropies with similar patterns. However, the variations in seismic anisotropies are mainly controlled by the rock type, to a lesser extent are determined by the lawsonite fabric type, and to only a small extent are affected by mineral fabric strength. Despite the constructive abnormal-type lawsonite fabric on whole-rock seismic anisotropies, because of their weaker mineral fabric strength (or deformation degree), the abnormal-type Lws-blueschist still exhibit comparatively lower seismic anisotropies than those normal-type Lws-blueschist from other localities. Based on the calculated seismic anisotropies and velocities, we estimated that when oceanic crust transforms from Lws-blueschist to Lws-eclogite with increasing subduction depth, (1) P-wave and max. S-wave polarization anisotropies reduce about 70% and 40%, respectively; and (2

  9. Controls on ferromanganese crust composition and reconnaissance resource potential, Ninetyeast Ridge, Indian Ocean

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hein, James; Conrad, Tracey A.; Mizell, Kira; Banakar, Virupaxa K.; Frey, Frederick A.; Sager, William W.

    2016-01-01

    The southern third of NER has Fe-Mn crusts with the highest Co (0.91%), Ni (0.43%), ΣREY (0.33%), Cu (0.22%), Te (146 ppm), Pt (1.5 ppm), Ru (52 ppb), and Rh (99 ppb) contents. These are among the highest Pt, Ru, and Rh concentrations measured in marine Fe-Mn deposits. Because of these high metal concentrations, exploration is warranted for the southern sector of the NER, especially at shallower-water sites where the platinum group elements (PGE) and Co are likely to be even more enriched.

  10. Continental hyperextension, mantle exhumation, and thin oceanic crust at the continent-ocean transition, West Iberia: New insights from wide-angle seismic

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Davy, R. G.; Minshull, T. A.; Bayrakci, G.; Bull, J. M.; Klaeschen, D.; Papenberg, C.; Reston, T. J.; Sawyer, D. S.; Zelt, C. A.

    2016-05-01

    Hyperextension of continental crust at the Deep Galicia rifted margin in the North Atlantic has been accommodated by the rotation of continental fault blocks, which are underlain by the S reflector, an interpreted detachment fault, along which exhumed and serpentinized mantle peridotite is observed. West of these features, the enigmatic Peridotite Ridge has been inferred to delimit the western extent of the continent-ocean transition. An outstanding question at this margin is where oceanic crust begins, with little existing data to constrain this boundary and a lack of clear seafloor spreading magnetic anomalies. Here we present results from a 160 km long wide-angle seismic profile (Western Extension 1). Travel time tomography models of the crustal compressional velocity structure reveal highly thinned and rotated crustal blocks separated from the underlying mantle by the S reflector. The S reflector correlates with the 6.0-7.0 km s-1 velocity contours, corresponding to peridotite serpentinization of 60-30%, respectively. West of the Peridotite Ridge, shallow and sparse Moho reflections indicate the earliest formation of an anomalously thin oceanic crustal layer, which increases in thickness from ~0.5 km at ~20 km west of the Peridotite Ridge to ~1.5 km, 35 km further west. P wave velocities increase smoothly and rapidly below top basement, to a depth of 2.8-3.5 km, with an average velocity gradient of 1.0 s-1. Below this, velocities slowly increase toward typical mantle velocities. Such a downward increase into mantle velocities is interpreted as decreasing serpentinization of mantle rock with depth.

  11. Reactive transport modeling of hydrothermal circulation in oceanic crust: effect of anhydrite precipitation on the dynamics of submarine hydrothermal systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yang, J.

    2009-12-01

    Hydrothermal fluid circulation represents an extremely efficient mechanism for the exchange of heat and matter between seawater and oceanic crust. Precipitation and dissolution of minerals associated with hydrothermal flow at ridge axes can alter the crustal porosity and permeability and hence influence the dynamics of hydrothermal systems. In this study, a fully coupled fluid flow, heat transfer and reactive mass transport model was developed using TOUGHREACT to evaluate the role of mineral precipitation and dissolution on the evolution of hydrothermal flow systems, with a particular attention focused on anhydrite precipitation upon heating of seawater in recharge zones and the resultant change in the crustal porosity and permeability. A series of numerical case studies were carried out to assess the effect of temperature and aqueous phase inflow concentrations on the reactive geochemical system. The impact of chemically induced porosity and permeability changes on the dynamics of hydrothermal systems was also addressed.

  12. Uranium isotopic compositions of the crust and ocean: Age corrections, U budget and global extent of modern anoxia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tissot, François L. H.; Dauphas, Nicolas

    2015-10-01

    The 238U/235U isotopic composition of uranium in seawater can provide important insights into the modern U budget of the oceans. Using the double spike technique and a new data reduction method, we analyzed an array of seawater samples and 41 geostandards covering a broad range of geological settings relevant to low and high temperature geochemistry. Analyses of 18 seawater samples from geographically diverse sites from the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, Mediterranean Sea, Gulf of Mexico, Persian Gulf, and English Channel, together with literature data (n = 17), yield a δ238U value for modern seawater of -0.392 ± 0.005‰ relative to CRM-112a. Measurements of the uranium isotopic compositions of river water, lake water, evaporites, modern coral, shales, and various igneous rocks (n = 64), together with compilations of literature data (n = 380), allow us to estimate the uranium isotopic compositions of the various reservoirs involved in the modern oceanic uranium budget, as well as the fractionation factors associated with U incorporation into those reservoirs. Because the incorporation of U into anoxic/euxinic sediments is accompanied by large isotopic fractionation (ΔAnoxic/Euxinic-SW = +0.6‰), the size of the anoxic/euxinic sink strongly influences the δ238U value of seawater. Keeping all other fluxes constant, the flux of uranium in the anoxic/euxinic sink is constrained to be 7.0 ± 3.1 Mmol/yr (or 14 ± 3% of the total flux out of the ocean). This translates into an areal extent of anoxia into the modern ocean of 0.21 ± 0.09% of the total seafloor. This agrees with independent estimates and rules out a recent uranium budget estimate by Henderson and Anderson (2003). Using the mass fractions and isotopic compositions of various rock types in Earth's crust, we further calculate an average δ238U isotopic composition for the continental crust of -0.29 ± 0.03‰ corresponding to a 238U/235U isotopic ratio of 137.797 ± 0.005. We discuss the implications of

  13. New constraints on the sources and behavior of neodymium and hafnium in seawater from Pacific Ocean ferromanganese crusts

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    van de Flierdt, T.; Frank, M.; Lee, D.-C.; Halliday, A.N.; Reynolds, B.C.; Hein, J.R.

    2004-01-01

    The behavior of dissolved Hf in the marine environment is not well understood due to the lack of direct seawater measurements of Hf isotopes and the limited number of Hf isotope time-series obtained from ferromanganese crusts. In order to place better constraints on input sources and develop further applications, a combined Nd-Hf isotope time-series study of five Pacific ferromanganese crusts was carried out. The samples cover the past 38 Myr and their locations range from sites at the margin of the ocean to remote areas, sites from previously unstudied North and South Pacific areas, and water depths corresponding to deep and bottom waters. For most of the samples a broad coupling of Nd and Hf isotopes is observed. In the Equatorial Pacific ENd and EHf both decrease with water depth. Similarly, ENd and EHf both increase from the South to the North Pacific. These data indicate that the Hf isotopic composition is, in general terms, a suitable tracer for ocean circulation, since inflow and progressive admixture of bottom water is clearly identifiable. The time-series data indicate that inputs and outputs have been balanced throughout much of the late Cenozoic. A simple box model can constrain the relative importance of potential input sources to the North Pacific. Assuming steady state, the model implies significant contributions of radiogenic Nd and Hf from young circum-Pacific arcs and a subordinate role of dust inputs from the Asian continent for the dissolved Nd and Hf budget of the North Pacific. Some changes in ocean circulation that are clearly recognizable in Nd isotopes do not appear to be reflected by Hf isotopic compositions. At two locations within the Pacific Ocean a decoupling of Nd and Hf isotopes is found, indicating limited potential for Hf isotopes as a stand-alone oceanographic tracer and providing evidence of additional local processes that govern the Hf isotopic composition of deep water masses. In the case of the Southwest Pacific there is

  14. The relationship between the age and depth of the oceanic crust in the central South China Sea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Peng, Yi-Jui; Hsu, Shu-Kun; Chiao, Ling-Yun

    2016-04-01

    South China Sea (SCS) is the largest marginal basin in the western Pacific. The onset of seafloor spreading in the central part of the SCS was suggested at 32 Ma. After a ridge jump around 25 Ma, the southwestern sub-basin started to open. The spreading of the entire basin ended at ~16 Ma, then a phase of post-magmatic seamount formation occurred (eg., Taylor and Hayes, 1983; Briais et al.,1993; Barckhausen et al., 2014). In this study, we want to find the relationship between the age and depth of the oceanic crust in the central SCS. We will also study a fracture zone trending NW-SE near to Manila trench and to understand how did the fracture zone affect the development of the SCS. We have analyzed five reflection seismic profiles collected by R/V Ocean Researcher 1 during the cruise ORI-1115. We have correlated the age of seismic strata in the central SCS by comparing to the seismic phase of profile MCS1115-7 that has crossed the IODP drilling site U1431. To understand the characteristics of the fracture zone, we have also applied the analytic signal and Euler deconvolution methods to the gravity and magnetic anomalies related to the fracture zone. We suggest that the fraction zone was formed in order to accommodate the spreading in the east sub-basin. However, this fracture zone is somewhat curved concave southwestward. According to the collision-extrusion model of Tapponnier et al. (1982), the formation of Indochina is followed with the constitution of Ailao Shan-Red River Shear Zone. We suppose that the formation of the fracture zone in this study is similar to the Ailao Shan-Red River Shear Zone. The fan-shaped crustal fabric is distinct in the younger portions of the oceanic basin. Both Ailao Shan-Red River Shear Zone and the fracture zone in northeastern SCS may share the same rotation pole. Furthermore, we have tried to find a relationship between oceanic crust depth and age in this area. The preliminary result shows that the relationship between depth and

  15. The origin of layered gabbros from the mid lower ocean crust, Hess Deep, East Pacific Rise

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cheadle, M. J.; Brown, T. C.; Ceuleneer, G.; Meyer, R.

    2014-12-01

    IODP Exp. 345 Holes U1415 I & J cored a ~30m thick unit of conspicuously layered gabbroic rocks from the lower plutonic crust at Hess Deep. These rocks likely come from >1500m below the dike gabbro transition and thus provide an unique opportunity to study the origin of layering and the formation of relatively deep, fast spread plutonic crust formed at the EPR. Here we report the initial results of a comprehensive high-resolution petrologic, geochemical and petrographic study of this unit, which focuses on a fairly continuous 1.5m long section recovered at Hole I. The rocks consist of opx-bearing olivine gabbro, olivine gabbro and gabbro and exhibit 1-10cm scale modal layering. Some layers host spectacular 2-3 cm diameter cpx oikocrysts encapsulating partially resorbed plagioclase laths. Downhole variations in mineral chemistry are complicated. Olivine, cpx and opx Mg#'s partly reflect equilibration and show a subtle metre-scale variation (1-2 Mg#), whereas, for example, plagioclase anorthite, and cpx TiO2 contents reveal a more complicated 10-20 cm-scale variation (2-4 An, and 0.2 TiO2). Mineral zonation, for all but Mg# in equilibrated olivine, is of higher magnitude than downhole variations in average mineral compositions. Trace element geochemistry reveals rather homogeneous plagioclase and opx compositions; however cpx exhibits variation at the mineral scale. Cpx shows an increased range of, and highest REE concentrations, in the more olivine rich, near cotectic, composition gabbros, whereas the more plagioclase rich, cumulates show no variation of, and low REE, concentrations.Plagioclase fabrics are moderate to weak and partially modally controlled, but the strength of the plagioclase crystallographic preferred orientation (CPO) varies dramatically, within the 1.5m core showing a significant part of the variation recorded by Oman ophiolite plutonic crust. Plagioclase shape preferred orientation and CPO match well suggesting that diffusion enabled compaction

  16. Venus trough-and-ridge tessera - Analog to earth oceanic crust formed at spreading centers?

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Head, James W.

    1990-01-01

    The similarity between the morphologies of Venus trough-and-ridge tessera and the earth's ocean floor is discussed. The hypothesis that tessera texture might be related to a crustal fabric produced at spreading centers is examined. It is suggested that the proccesses that produce the ocean floor fabric on earth are good candidates for the origin and production of the trough-and-ridge tessera. To support this hypothesis, the characteristics of the trough-and-ridge terrain in Laima Tessera are described and compared to the seafloor at spreading centers.

  17. Freshly brewed continental crust

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gazel, E.; Hayes, J. L.; Caddick, M. J.; Madrigal, P.

    2015-12-01

    Earth's crust is the life-sustaining interface between our planet's deep interior and surface. Basaltic crusts similar to Earth's oceanic crust characterize terrestrial planets in the solar system while the continental masses, areas of buoyant, thick silicic crust, are a unique characteristic of Earth. Therefore, understanding the processes responsible for the formation of continents is fundamental to reconstructing the evolution of our planet. We use geochemical and geophysical data to reconstruct the evolution of the Central American Land Bridge (Costa Rica and Panama) over the last 70 Ma. We also include new preliminary data from a key turning point (~12-6 Ma) from the evolution from an oceanic arc depleted in incompatible elements to a juvenile continental mass in order to evaluate current models of continental crust formation. We also discovered that seismic P-waves (body waves) travel through the crust at velocities closer to the ones observed in continental crust worldwide. Based on global statistical analyses of all magmas produced today in oceanic arcs compared to the global average composition of continental crust we developed a continental index. Our goal was to quantitatively correlate geochemical composition with the average P-wave velocity of arc crust. We suggest that although the formation and evolution of continents may involve many processes, melting enriched oceanic crust within a subduction zone, a process probably more common in the Achaean where most continental landmasses formed, can produce the starting material necessary for juvenile continental crust formation.

  18. Characterization of the in situ magnetic architecture of oceanic crust (Hess Deep) using near-source vector magnetic data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tominaga, Masako; Tivey, Maurice A.; MacLeod, Christopher J.; Morris, Antony; Lissenberg, C. Johan; Shillington, Donna J.; Ferrini, Vicki

    2016-06-01

    Marine magnetic anomalies are a powerful tool for detecting geomagnetic polarity reversals, lithological boundaries, topographic contrasts, and alteration fronts in the oceanic lithosphere. Our aim here is to detect lithological contacts in fast-spreading lower crust and shallow mantle by characterizing magnetic anomalies and investigating their origins. We conducted a high-resolution, near-bottom, vector magnetic survey of crust exposed in the Hess Deep "tectonic window" using the remotely operated vehicle (ROV) Isis during RRS James Cook cruise JC21 in 2008. Hess Deep is located at the western tip of the propagating rift of the Cocos-Nazca plate boundary near the East Pacific Rise (EPR) (2°15'N, 101°30'W). ROV Isis collected high-resolution bathymetry and near-bottom magnetic data as well as seafloor samples to determine the in situ lithostratigraphy and internal structure of a section of EPR lower crust and mantle exposed on the steep (~20°dipping) south facing slope just north of the Hess Deep nadir. Ten magnetic profiles were collected up the slope using a three-axis fluxgate magnetometer mounted on ROV Isis. We develop and extend the vertical magnetic profile (VMP) approach of Tivey (1996) by incorporating, for the first time, a three-dimensional vector analysis, leading to what we here termed as "vector vertical magnetic profiling" approach. We calculate the source magnetization distribution, the deviation from two dimensionality, and the strike of magnetic boundaries using both the total field Fourier-transform inversion approach and a modified differential vector magnetic analysis. Overall, coherent, long-wavelength total field anomalies are present with a strong magnetization contrast between the upper and lower parts of the slope. The total field anomalies indicate a coherently magnetized source at depth. The upper part of the slope is weakly magnetized and magnetic structure follows the underlying slope morphology, including a "bench" and lobe

  19. Constraints on the accretion of the gabbroic lower oceanic crust from plagioclase lattice preferred orientation in the Samail ophiolite

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    VanTongeren, J. A.; Hirth, G.; Kelemen, P. B.

    2015-12-01

    The debate over the processes of igneous accretion of gabbroic lower crust at submarine spreading centers is centered on two end-member hypotheses: Gabbro Glaciers and Sheeted Sills. In order to determine which of these two hypotheses is most applicable to a well-studied lower crustal section, we present newly published data (VanTongeren et al., 2015 EPSL v. 427, p. 249-261) on plagioclase lattice preferred orientations (LPO) in the Wadi Khafifah section of the Samail ophiolite, Oman. Based on our results we provide five critical observations that any model for the accretion of the lower oceanic crust must satisfy: (1) There is a distinctive change in the orientation of the outcrop-scale layering from near-vertical to sub-horizontal that is also reflected in the plagioclase fabrics in the uppermost ~1000-1500 m of the gabbroic crust; (2) The distinction between the upper gabbros and lower gabbros is not a geochemical boundary. Rather, the change in outcrop-scale orientation from near-vertical to sub-horizontal occurs stratigraphically lower in the crust than a change in whole-rock geochemistry; (3) There is no systematic difference in plagioclase fabric strength in any crystallographic axis between the upper gabbros and the lower gabbros; (4) Beneath the abrupt transition from sub-vertical to sub-horizontal fabric, there is no systematic change in the geographic orientation of the plagioclase fabric, or in the development of a dominant lineation direction within the upper gabbros or the lower gabbros; (5) In the lower gabbros, the obliquity between the (010) and the modal layering remains approximately constant and indicates a consistent top to the right sense of shear throughout the stratigraphy. Our observations are most consistent with the Sheeted Sills hypothesis, in which the majority of lower crustal gabbros are crystallized in situ and fabrics are dominated by compaction and localized extension rather than by systematically increasing shear strain with

  20. Detachment and steep normal faulting in Atlantic oceanic crust west of Africa

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Reston, T.J.; Ruoff, O.; McBride, J.H.; Ranero, C.R.; White, Robert S.

    1996-01-01

    Improved images of the internal structure of Early Cretaceous North Atlantic crust reveal both probable detachment faults and more steeply dipping normal faults. The detachment faults occur as subhorizontal structures passing ???1.5 km beneath fault blocks without offset; several steeper block-bounding faults appear to detach onto these structures. However, the detachments are bounded to the west (ridgeward) by presumably younger, more steeply west-dipping normal faults. In one possible interpretation, the detachment and the steep faults belong to the same "rolling-hinge" extension system. An intriguing alternative is that a phase of detachment faulting, perhaps related to increased magmatic activity, was succeeded by localized amagmatic extension along steeper and more deeply penetrating faults.

  1. Constraints on Lu-Hf and Nb-Ta systematics in globally subducted oceanic crust from a survey of orogenic eclogites and amphibolites

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zirakparvar, N. Alex

    2016-04-01

    To further understand Lu-Hf and Nb-Ta systematics in globally subducted oceanic crust, this paper evaluates all available Lu-Hf garnet isochron ages and initial ɛHf values in conjunction with present-day bulk-rock Lu-Hf isotope and trace element (K, Nb, Ta, Zr, and Ti in addition to Lu-Hf) data from the world's orogenic eclogites and amphibolites (OEAs). Approximately half of OEAs exhibit Lu-Hf and Nb-Ta systematics mimicking those of unsubducted oceanic crust whereas the rest exhibit variability in one or both systems. For the Lu-Hf system, mixing calculations demonstrate that subduction-related phase transformations, in conjunction with open system behavior, can shift subducted oceanic crust toward higher Lu/Hf, or toward lower Lu/Hf that can also be associated with unradiogenic ɛHf values. However, evaluation of potential mechanisms for fractionating Nb from Ta is more complicated because many of the OEAs have Nb-Ta systematics that are decoupled from Lu-Hf and the behavior of K, Zr, and Ti. Nonetheless, the global data set demonstrates that the association between unradiogenic ɛHf and elevated Nb/Ta observed in some kimberlitic eclogite xenoliths can be inherited from processes that occurred during subduction of their oceanic crustal protoliths. This allows for a geologically based estimate of the Nb concentration in a reservoir composed of deeply subducted oceanic crust. However, mass balance calculations confirm that such a reservoir, when considered as a whole, likely has a Nb concentration similar to unsubducted oceanic crust and is therefore not the solution to the problem of the Earth's "missing" Nb.

  2. The Cool Early Earth: Oxygen Isotope Evidence for Continental Crust and Oceans on Earth at 4.4 Ga

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Valley, J. W.; King, E. M.; Peck, W. H.; Graham, C. M.; Wilde, S. A.

    2001-05-01

    oceans at that time. The evidence for liquid water and possibly oceans at 4.4 Ga suggests a Cool Early Earth. This contrasts with the Hot Early Earth and global magma oceans envisioned at 4.5-4.3 Ga based on: an impact origin of the Moon (4.45-4.50 Ga), core formation, higher Hadean radioactive heat production, and intense early meteorite bombardment. Magma on the surface of the Earth cools quickly by radiation to form a crust, but a magma ocean caused by these processes might persist beneath the initially thin crust for up to 400 m.y. and might erupt as massive flood basalts in response to major meteorite impacts, boiling surface waters. The thermal contrasts presented by these lines of evidence are minimized if the Moon and core formed earlier (\\sim4.5 Ga), if the Moon formed by a process not involving a Mars-size impactor, or if the early meteorite bombardment was less intense or irregular in timing. It is possible that periods of Cool vs. Hot Early Earth alternated, with boiling of early oceans after major impact events followed by periods of cooler surface conditions. If life evolved in these seas, multiple extinctions before 3.9 Ga are suggested.

  3. Oceanic crust within the paleozoic Granjeno Schist, northeastern Mexico. Remnants of the Rheic and paleo-Pacific Ocean.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Torres Sanchez, Sonia Alejandra; Augustsson, Carita; Rafael Barboza Gudiño, Jose; Jenchen, Uwe; Torres Sanchez, Dario; Aleman Gallardo, Eduardo; Abratis, Michael

    2015-04-01

    Late Paleozoic metamorphic rocks in Mexico are related to the Laurentia-Gondwana collision in Carboniferous time, during Pangaea amalgamation. Vestiges of the Mexican Paleozoic continental configuration are present in the Granjeno Schist, the metamorphic basement of the Sierra Madre Oriental. Field work and petrographic analysis reveal that the Granjeno Schist comprises metamorphic rocks with both sedimentary (psammite, pelite, turbidite, conglomerate, black shale) and igneous (tuff, lava flows, pillow lava and ultramafic bodies) protoliths. The chlorite geothermometer and the presence of phengite in the metasedimentary units as well as 40Ar/39Ar ages on metavolcanic and metaultramafic rocks indicate that the Granjeno Schist was metamorphosed under sub-greenschist to greenschist facies with temperatures ranging from 250-345°C with 2.5 kbar during Carboniferous time (330±30 Ma). The presence of metabasalt, metacumulate, serpentinite and talc bodies suggests an oceanic tectonic setting for the evolution of the Granjeno Schist. Serpetinite rocks have mesh, granular and ribbon textures which indicate recrystallization and metasomatic events. The serpentinite rocks are enriched in the very large incompatible elements Cs, U, and Zr and depleted in Ba, Sr, Pb, Zr and Ce. Normalized REE patterns (LaN/YbN = 0.51 - 19.95 and LaN/SmN = 0.72 - 9.08) of the serpentinite and talc/soapstone are characteristic of peridotite from both suprasubduction and mid-ocean ridge zones. Serpentinite from the Granjeno Schist have spinel content which can reveal different stages of evolution in host serpentinite. The composition of chromite indicates that they belong to podiform chromite that may have crystallized from mid-ocean ridge magma. Al-chromite in the serpentinite is characterized by #Cr 0.48 to 0.55, which indicates a depleted mantle source affected by 17 to 18% of partial melting. The ferritchromite has #Cr values of 0.93 to 1.00 which indicates a metamorphic origin. Our study

  4. Scattering beneath Western Pacific subduction zones: evidence for oceanic crust in the mid-mantle

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bentham, H. L. M.; Rost, S.

    2014-06-01

    Small-scale heterogeneities in the mantle can give important insight into the dynamics and composition of the Earth's interior. Here, we analyse seismic energy found as precursors to PP, which is scattered off small-scale heterogeneities related to subduction zones in the upper and mid-mantle. We use data from shallow earthquakes (less than 100 km depth) in the epicentral distance range of 90°-110° and use array methods to study a 100 s window prior to the PP arrival. Our analysis focuses on energy arriving off the great circle path between source and receiver. We select coherent arrivals automatically, based on a semblance weighted beampower spectrum, maximizing the selection of weak amplitude arrivals. Assuming single P-to-P scattering and using the directivity information from array processing, we locate the scattering origin by ray tracing through a 1-D velocity model. Using data from the small-aperture Eielson Array (ILAR) in Alaska, we are able to image structure related to heterogeneities in western Pacific subduction zones. We find evidence for ˜300 small-scale heterogeneities in the region around the present-day Japan, Izu-Bonin, Mariana and West Philippine subduction zones. Most of the detected heterogeneities are located in the crust and upper mantle, but 6 per cent of scatterers are located deeper than 600 km. Scatterers in the transition zone correlate well with edges of fast features in tomographic images and subducted slab contours derived from slab seismicity. We locate deeper scatterers beneath the Izu-Bonin/Mariana subduction zones, which outline a steeply dipping pseudo-planar feature to 1480 km depth, and beneath the ancient (84-144 Ma) Indonesian subduction trench down to 1880 km depth. We image the remnants of subducted crustal material, likely the underside reflection of the subducted Moho. The presence of deep scatterers related to past and present subduction provides evidence that the subducted crust does descend into the lower mantle at

  5. Comment on "Glacial cycles drive variations in the production of oceanic crust".

    PubMed

    Goff, John A

    2015-09-01

    Crowley et al. (Reports, 13 March 2015, p. 1237) propose that abyssal hill topography can be generated by variations in volcanism at mid-ocean ridges modulated by Milankovitch cycle-driven changes in sea level. Published values for abyssal hill characteristic widths versus spreading rate do not generally support this hypothesis. I argue that abyssal hills are primarily fault-generated rather than volcanically generated features. PMID:26339022

  6. Lithium isotope as a proxy for water/rock interaction between hydrothermal fluids and oceanic crust at Milos, Greece

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lou, U.-Lat; You, Chen-Feng; Wu, Shein-Fu; Chung, Chuan-Hsiung

    2014-05-01

    Hydrothermal activity at Milos in the Aegean island (Greece) is mainly located at rather shallow depth (about 5 m). It is interesting to compare these chemical compositions and the evolution processes of the hydrothermal fluids at deep sea hydrothermal vents in Mid-ocean Ridge (MOR). Lithium (Li) is a highly mobile element and its isotopic composition varies at different geological settings. Therefore, Li and its isotope could be used as an indicator for many geochemical processes. Since 6Li preferential retained in the mineral phase where 7Li is leached into fluid phase during basalt alteration, the Li isotopic fractionation between the rocks and the fluids reflect sensitively the degree of water-rock interaction. In this study, Bio-Rad AG-50W X8 cation exchange resin was used for purifying the hydrothermal fluids to separate Li from other matrix elements. The Li isotopic composition (δ7Li) was determined by Multi-collector Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry (MC-ICP-MS) with precision better than 0.2‰ (2σ, n=20). The Li concentration in the hydrothermal fluids falls between 0.02 to 10.31 mM. The δ7Li values vary from +1.9 to +29.7‰, indicating significant seawater contamination have occurred. These hydrothermal fluids fit well with seawater and brine two end-member binary mixing model. During phase separation, lithium, boron, chlorine, iodine, bromine, sodium and potassium were enriched in the brine phase. On the other hand, aluminum, sulphur and iron were enriched in the vapor phase. There is no significant isotope fractionation between the two phases. The water/rock ratio (W/R) calculated is low (about 1.5 to 1.8) for the Milos fluids, restricted seawater recharge into the oceanic crust. Moreover, the oceanic crust in the region becomes less altered since the W/R is low. The δ7Li value of the hydrothermal fluids can be used as a sensitive tool for studying water-rock interaction.

  7. Generation of felsic melts within fast-spreading oceanic crust: Experimental partial melting of hydrothermally altered sheeted dike

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fischer, L. A.; Erdmann, M.; France, L.; Deloule, E.; Koepke, J.

    2013-12-01

    In recent oceanic crust and in ophiolites, felsic lithologies are observed. Different processes, like fractional crystallization of MORB and partial melting of mafic rocks are discussed to form these lithologies. Partial melting is expected as a major process in forming felsic lithologies at the base of the sheeted dike complex of fast-spreading ridges, where the axial melt lens is assumed to be located directly beneath the sheeted dikes.It is widely accepted that this melt lens has the potential to trigger partial melting of mafic lithologies at the gabbro/dike transition zone. In this experimental study, the influence of partial melting on the generation of felsic lithologies is examined. Therefore, partial melting experiments at a pressure of 100 MPa were performed. As starting material, a natural basalt from the IODP (Integrated Ocean Drilling Program) drilling at Site 1256 (equatorial East Pacific Rise) was chosen, which is representative for the lower sheeted dike complex. It is characterized as a moderately altered dolerite containing plagioclase (An50-57), clinopyroxene (Mg# 0.55-0.60) and quartz, with chlorite as secondary phase; sulfides and Fe-Ti-oxides are present as accessory minerals. The partial melting experiments were conducted in an H2-controlled IHPV at the Institute of Mineralogy in Hanover, Germany. To investigate the evolution of the partial melts, different experiments were performed at temperatures between 1030°C and 910°C and a constant pressure of 100 MPa. All experiments were water saturated leading to a fO2 corresponding to QFM +1 (QFM = quartz-fayalite-magnetite oxygen buffer). This is slightly more oxidized than MORB crystallization due to the influence of a hydrous fluid which generally increases the oxygen activity. The experimental products were analyzed using electron microprobe for major elements, and a SIMS (CRPG Nancy, France) for trace elements. We present here our first results on phase relations and mineral compositions

  8. Thickness of the oceanic crust and the mantle transition zone in the vicinity of the Tristan da Cunha hot spot estimated from ocean-bottom and ocean-island seismometer receiver functions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Geissler, Wolfram; Jokat, Wilfried; Jegen, Marion; Baba, Kiyoshi

    2016-04-01

    According to classical plume theory, the Tristan da Cunha hotspot is thought to have played a major role in the rifting of the South Atlantic margins and the creation of the aseismic Walvis Ridge by impinging at the base of the continental lithosphere shortly before or during the breakup of the South Atlantic margins. However, Tristan da Cunha is enigmatic as it cannot be clearly identified as a hot spot but may also be classified as a more shallow type of anomaly that may actually have been caused by the opening of the South Atlantic. The equivocal character of Tristan da Cunha is largely due to a lack of geophysical and petrological data in this region. We therefore staged a multi-disciplinary geophysical study of the region by acquiring passive marine electromagnetic and seismic data, and bathymetric data within the framework of the SPP1375 South Atlantic Margin Processes and Links with onshore Evolution (SAMPLE) funded by the German Science foundation. The experiment included two ship expeditions onboard the German R/V MARIA S. MERIAN in 2012 and 2013. In our contribution we will present results on the thickness of the oceanic crust in the vicinity of the Tristan da Cunha archipelago derived from ocean-bottom seismometer data. Using the Ps receiver function method we estimate a thickness of 5 to 7 km for the oceanic crust at 17 ocean-bottom stations surrounding the islands in an area where the ocean floor has an age of approximately 10 to 30 Ma (from west to east). This indicates normal to slightly lowered magmatic activity at the mid-ocean ridge during the crust formation. There seems to be no major contribution of a mantle plume to the melting conditions at the ridge, which should cause the formation of thickened oceanic crust. The magmatic activity at the archipelago and surrounding seamounts seems to have only local effects on the crustal thickness. Furthermore, we imaged the mantle transition zone discontinuities analysing receiver functions at the

  9. Comparative geochemistry of four ferromanganese crusts from the Pacific Ocean and significance for the use of Ni isotopes as paleoceanographic tracers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gueguen, Bleuenn; Rouxel, Olivier; Rouget, Marie-Laure; Bollinger, Claire; Ponzevera, Emmanuel; Germain, Yoan; Fouquet, Yves

    2016-09-01

    Ferromanganese (Fe-Mn) crusts are potential archive of the Ni isotope composition of seawater through time. In this study we aim at (1) understanding Ni isotope fractionation mechanisms and metal enrichment processes in Fe-Mn deposits, (2) addressing global vs. local control of Ni isotope composition of these deposits. Two Fe-Mn crusts from the North Pacific Ocean (Apuupuu Seamount, Hawaii) and two Fe-Mn crusts from the South Pacific Ocean (near Rurutu Island, Austral archipelago of French Polynesia) were characterized for their elemental geochemistry and Ni isotope composition. Geochemical analyses were performed at millimeter intervals in order to provide time-resolved record of Ni isotopes. Chronology and growth rates were determined using cosmogenic 10Be isotope abundances. The results show that, despite different growth rates, textures and geochemical patterns, Fe-Mn crusts from both North and South Pacific Oceans have fairly homogenous Ni isotope compositions over the last ∼17 Ma, yielding average δ60/58Ni values of 1.79 ± 0.21‰ (2sd, n = 31) and 1.73 ± 0.21‰ (2sd, n = 21) respectively. In one crust sample, however, layers directly in contact with the altered substrate show anomalously light δ60/58Ni values down to 0.25 ± 0.05‰ (2se) together with rejuvenated 10Be/9Be ratios correlating with elevated Ni/Mn ratios. Such patterns are best explained by protracted fluid-rock interactions leading to alteration of Mn-phases after crust formation. Isotopically light Ni would be the result of Ni isotope fractionation during adsorption rather than the contribution of external Ni sources (e.g. hydrothermal sources) having light Ni isotope compositions. The combination of our results with previously published data on Fe-Mn crusts indicates that the average Ni isotope composition in deep waters has not changed through the Cenozoic (∼70 Ma). We propose that Ni isotope variations in Fe-Mn crusts may not only record variations of Ni sources to the oceans, but

  10. Can Fractional Crystallization of a Lunar Magma Ocean Produce the Lunar Crust?

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rapp, Jennifer F.; Draper, David S.

    2013-01-01

    New techniques enable the study of Apollo samples and lunar meteorites in unprecedented detail, and recent orbital spectral data reveal more about the lunar farside than ever before, raising new questions about the supposed simplicity of lunar geology. Nevertheless, crystallization of a global-scale magma ocean remains the best model to account for known lunar lithologies. Crystallization of a lunar magma ocean (LMO) is modeled to proceed by two end-member processes - fractional crystallization from (mostly) the bottom up, or initial equilibrium crystallization as the magma is vigorously convecting and crystals remain entrained, followed by crystal settling and a final period of fractional crystallization [1]. Physical models of magma viscosity and convection at this scale suggest that both processes are possible. We have been carrying out high-fidelity experimental simulations of LMO crystallization using two bulk compositions that can be regarded as end-members in the likely relevant range: Taylor Whole Moon (TWM) [2] and Lunar Primitive Upper Mantle (LPUM) [3]. TWM is enriched in refractory elements by 1.5 times relative to Earth, whereas LPUM is similar to the terrestrial primitive upper mantle, with adjustments made for the depletion of volatile alkalis observed on the Moon. Here we extend our earlier equilibrium-crystallization experiments [4] with runs simulating full fractional crystallization

  11. Distributions of REE, Nd, Hf and Pb isotopes in the surfaces of Fe-Mn crusts from across the Pacific Ocean

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chu, N.; Nesbitt, R. W.; German, C. R.; Halbach, P.

    2001-12-01

    Over the past decade, numerous studies have investigated radiogenic isotopes (i.e. Nd, Pb, Hf, Os) in marine Fe-Mn deposits in an attempt to infer changes in ocean circulation throughout the Cenozoic. The use of radiogenic isotopes as paleoceanographic proxies has been challenged recently by evidence that the isotopic composition of crusts from oceanic domains near major river systems (e.g. Amazon, Congo) or old cratonic areas (i.e. the North Atlantic area) could be influenced significantly by continental inputs. Therefore, for any given crust, it is difficult to deduce the extent to which changes in weathering processes rather than ocean circulation may be responsible for observed isotopic variations. This is partly due to the fact that the oceanic budgets for some of these elements remain poorly constrained. In particular, the influence of both the eastward aeolian transport of Chinese loess and the erosion of the young West-Pacific volcanic belt on the isotopic composition of Pacific water masses has been poorly documented. The deep Pacific Ocean is composed of 4 principal water masses: North Pacific Intermediate Water (NPIW), Antarctic Intermediate Water (AAIW), Pacific Deep Water (PDW) and Antarctic Bottom Water (AABW). AABW, the main source of PDW, flows northward and enters the Central Basin through the Samoan Passage, where it is diverted into two branches: eastward to Line Island Passage and westward through Wake Passage. We will present Nd, Hf and Pb isotopic ratios combined with REE data from the surfaces of 16 Fe-Mn crusts taken at different depths from key areas of the Pacific Ocean. Two crusts were collected from the Izu-Bonin back-arc basin in the western Pacific and, hence, are particularly suitable for monitoring the influence of both continental aeolian and weathering inputs. Two other groups of crusts are from north and south of the equatorial Pacific region. The southern group is situated at the exit of the Samoan Passage, whereas the northern

  12. Magmatic processes that generate chemically distinct silicic magmas in NW Costa Rica and the evolution of juvenile continental crust in oceanic arcs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Deering, Chad D.; Vogel, Thomas A.; Patino, Lina C.; Szymanski, David W.; Alvarado, Guillermo E.

    2012-02-01

    Northwestern Costa Rica is built upon an oceanic plateau that has developed chemical and geophysical characteristics of the upper continental crust. A major factor in converting the oceanic plateau to continental crust is the production, evolution, and emplacement of silicic magmas. In Costa Rica, the Caribbean Large Igneous Province (CLIP) forms the overriding plate in the subduction of the Cocos Plate—a process that has occurred for at least the last 25 my. Igneous rocks in Costa Rica older than about 8 Ma have chemical compositions typical of ocean island basalts and intra-oceanic arcs. In contrast, younger igneous deposits contain abundant silicic rocks, which are significantly enriched in SiO2, alkalis, and light rare-earth elements and are geochemically similar to the average upper continental crust. Geophysical evidence (high Vp seismic velocities) also indicates a relatively thick (~40 km), addition of evolved igneous rocks to the CLIP. The silicic deposits of NW Costa Rica occur in two major compositional groups: a high-Ti and a low-Ti group with no overlap between the two. The major and trace element characteristics of these groups are consistent with these magmas being derived from liquids that were extracted from crystal mushes—either produced by crystallization or by partial melting of plutons near their solidi. In relative terms, the high-Ti silicic liquids were extracted from a hot, dry crystal mush with low oxygen fugacity, where plagioclase and pyroxene were the dominant phases crystallizing, along with lesser amounts of hornblende. In contrast, the low-Ti silicic liquids were extracted from a cool, wet crystal mush with high oxygen fugacity, where plagioclase and amphibole were the dominant phases crystallizing. The hot-dry-reducing magmas dominate the older sequence, but the youngest sequence contains only magmas from the cold-wet-oxidized group. Silicic volcanic deposits from other oceanic arcs (e.g., Izu-Bonin, Marianas) have chemical

  13. Magmatic processes that generate chemically distinct silicic magmas in NW Costa Rica and the evolution of juvenile continental crust in oceanic arcs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vogel, T. A.; Deering, C. D.; Patino, L. C.; Alvarado, G. E.; Szymanski, D. W.

    2010-12-01

    Northwestern Costa Rica is built upon an oceanic plateau that has developed chemical and geophysical characteristics of the upper continental crust. A major factor in converting the oceanic plateau to continental crust is the production, evolution and emplacement of silicic magmas. In Costa Rica, the Caribbean Large Igneous Province (CLIP) forms the overriding plate in the subduction of the Cocos Plate - a process that has occurred for at least the last 25 my. Igneous rocks in Costa Rica older than about 10 Ma have chemical compositions typical of oceanic basalts and intra-oceanic arcs. In contrast, younger igneous deposits (<10 Ma) contain abundant silicic rocks with geochemical signatures similar to the average continental crust, which are significantly enriched in SiO2, alkalis and light rare-earth elements. The silicic deposits of NW Costa Rica occur in two major compositional groups: a high-Ti and a low-Ti group with no overlap between the two. The major and trace element characteristics of these groups are consistent with these magmas being derived from liquids that were extracted from crystal mushes. In relative terms, the high-Ti silicic liquids were extracted from a hot, dry crystal mush with low-oxygen fugacity where plagioclase and pyroxene were the dominant phases crystallizing, along with lesser amounts of hornblende. In contrast, the low-Ti silicic liquids were extracted from a cool, wet crystal mush with high oxygen fugacity where plagioclase and amphibole were the dominant phases crystallizing. The hot-dry-reducing magmas dominate the older sequence, but the youngest sequence contains only magmas from the cold-wet-oxidized group. Silicic volcanic deposits from other oceanic arcs (e.g. Izu-Bonin, Marianas) have chemical characteristics distinctly different from continental crust, whereas the NW Costa Rican silicic deposits have chemical characteristics nearly identical to the upper continental crust. The transition in NW Costa Rica from mafic oceanic

  14. The 3.5 b.y. old Onverwacht Group: A remnant of ancient oceanic crust

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hoffman, S.

    1985-01-01

    The interaction between seawater and submarine volcanic rock has had important consequences for the chemistry of the ocean during the Phanerozoic. Most extant terranes have been regionally metamorphosed to the amphibolite and granulite facies, so that their precursor lithologies and structures are not readily determinable. However, the 3.5 b.y. old supracrustal rocks of the Barberton Mountain Land, South Africa, have not been subjected to high grade regional metamorphism, and therefore there was reason to hope that a laboratory investigation might reveal the extent to which these rocks had been exposed to subseafloor hydrothermal activity. Hart and de Wit describe bulk geochemical evidence from the entire suite as well as field evidence which support the concept of hydrothermal activity in the Barberton Mountain Land. Mineralogical and textural features which unequivocally mark it as a submarine sequence emplaced in a midocean ridge/fracture zone or back arc/fracture zone environment are briefly discussed.

  15. Experimental Simulations of Lunar Magma Ocean Crystallization: The Plot (But Not the Crust) Thickens

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Draper, D. S.; Rapp, J. F.; Elardo, S. M.; Shearer, C. K., Jr.; Neal, C. R.

    2016-01-01

    Numerical models of differentiation of a global-scale lunar magma ocean (LMO) have raised as many questions as they have answered. Recent orbital missions and sample studies have provided new context for a large range of lithologies, from the comparatively magnesian "purest anorthosite" reported by to Si-rich domes and spinel-rich clasts with widespread areal distributions. In addition, the GRAIL mission provided strong constraints on lunar crustal density and average thickness. Can this increasingly complex geology be accounted for via the formation and evolution of the LMO? We have in recent years been conducting extensive sets of petrologic experiments designed to fully simulate LMO crystallization, which had not been attempted previously. Here we review the key results from these experiments, which show that LMO differentiation is more complex than initial models suggested. Several important features expected from LMO crystallization models have yet to be reproduced experimentally; combined modelling and experimental work by our group is ongoing.

  16. Uranium isotopic compositions of the crust and ocean: Age corrections, U budget and global extent of modern anoxia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tissot, François L. H.; Dauphas, Nicolas

    2015-10-01

    The 238U/235U isotopic composition of uranium in seawater can provide important insights into the modern U budget of the oceans. Using the double spike technique and a new data reduction method, we analyzed an array of seawater samples and 41 geostandards covering a broad range of geological settings relevant to low and high temperature geochemistry. Analyses of 18 seawater samples from geographically diverse sites from the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, Mediterranean Sea, Gulf of Mexico, Persian Gulf, and English Channel, together with literature data (n = 17), yield a δ238U value for modern seawater of -0.392 ± 0.005‰ relative to CRM-112a. Measurements of the uranium isotopic compositions of river water, lake water, evaporites, modern coral, shales, and various igneous rocks (n = 64), together with compilations of literature data (n = 380), allow us to estimate the uranium isotopic compositions of the various reservoirs involved in the modern oceanic uranium budget, as well as the fractionation factors associated with U incorporation into those reservoirs. Because the incorporation of U into anoxic/euxinic sediments is accompanied by large isotopic fractionation (ΔAnoxic/Euxinic-SW = +0.6‰), the size of the anoxic/euxinic sink strongly influences the δ238U value of seawater. Keeping all other fluxes constant, the flux of uranium in the anoxic/euxinic sink is constrained to be 7.0 ± 3.1 Mmol/yr (or 14 ± 3% of the total flux out of the ocean). This translates into an areal extent of anoxia into the modern ocean of 0.21 ± 0.09% of the total seafloor. This agrees with independent estimates and rules out a recent uranium budget estimate by Henderson and Anderson (2003). Using the mass fractions and isotopic compositions of various rock types in Earth's crust, we further calculate an average δ238U isotopic composition for the continental crust of -0.29 ± 0.03‰ corresponding to a 238U/235U isotopic ratio of 137.797 ± 0.005. We discuss the implications of

  17. Carson Lecture: Seafloor Hydrothermal Vents and Their Impact on the Composition of the Ocean Crust, Ocean Chemistry, and Biological Activity in the Deep Sea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tivey, M. K.

    2005-05-01

    February 1977 marked the discovery of seafloor hydrothermal vents along mid-ocean ridges, and a beginning to studies of their impact on ocean chemistry and biological activity in the deep sea. Evidence for these systems was known from heat flow anomalies and from the rock record in the form of volcanic-associated massive sulfide deposits. The discovery provided a first chance to analyze the hydrothermal fluids, infer the consequences of high temperature water-rock reaction within the ocean crust, and observe interactions of vent fluids with seawater at, beneath, and above the seafloor. Ocean chemists compared vent fluid and river inputs to the oceans and estimated contributions from hydrothermal activity to global chemical fluxes. Study of the vent deposits and their unusual biological communities, however, is not straightforward, requiring consideration of the complex interactions during mixing of two compositionally distinct fluids. The mixing processes are in some ways analogous to those occurring within estuaries, though at vent sites fluids differ not just in salinity but in temperature, pH, and redox state. As in estuaries, mixing is complicated by non-conservative processes. These studies have required more sophisticated geochemical modeling efforts that consider reactions at elevated temperatures and pressures, and diffusion and advection in environments characterized by steep chemical and thermal gradients. In situ measurements are still needed to test the accuracy of these calculations, especially in the temperature and pressure region close to the critical point of water that is typical of many vents systems. The presence of novel organisms that thrive off the chemical energy created by mixing processes has added to the drive to develop in situ sensors capable of making measurements in hostile vent environments. As we approach the end of the third decade of study of seafloor hydrothermal systems, we have only just scratched the surface in our quest to

  18. Deeply dredged submarine HIMU glasses from the Tuvalu Islands, Polynesia: Implications for volatile budgets of recycled oceanic crust

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jackson, M. G.; Koga, K. T.; Price, A.; Konter, J. G.; Koppers, A. A. P.; Finlayson, V. A.; Konrad, K.; Hauri, E. H.; Kylander-Clark, A.; Kelley, K. A.; Kendrick, M. A.

    2015-09-01

    Ocean island basalts (OIB) with extremely radiogenic Pb-isotopic signatures are melts of a mantle component called HIMU (high µ, high 238U/204Pb). Until now, deeply dredged submarine HIMU glasses have not been available, which has inhibited complete geochemical (in particular, volatile element) characterization of the HIMU mantle. We report major, trace and volatile element abundances in a suite of deeply dredged glasses from the Tuvalu Islands. Three Tuvalu glasses with the most extreme HIMU signatures have F/Nd ratios (35.6 ± 3.6) that are higher than the ratio (˜21) for global OIB and MORB, consistent with elevated F/Nd ratios in end-member HIMU Mangaia melt inclusions. The Tuvalu glasses with the most extreme HIMU composition have Cl/K (0.11-0.12), Br/Cl (0.0024), and I/Cl (5-6 × 10-5) ratios that preclude significant assimilation of seawater-derived Cl. The new HIMU glasses that are least degassed for H2O have low H2O/Ce ratios (75-84), similar to ratios identified in end-member OIB glasses with EM1 and EM2 signatures, but significantly lower than H2O/Ce ratios (119-245) previously measured in melt inclusions from Mangaia. CO2-H2O equilibrium solubility models suggest that these HIMU glasses (recovered in two different dredges at 2500-3600 m water depth) have eruption pressures of 295-400 bars. We argue that degassing is unlikely to significantly reduce the primary melt H2O. Thus, the lower H2O/Ce in the HIMU Tuvalu glasses is a mantle signature. We explore oceanic crust recycling as the origin of the low H2O/Ce (˜50-80) in the EM1, EM2, and HIMU mantle domains.

  19. Sulu-Celebes-Banda basins: a trapped piece of Cretaceous to Eocene oceanic crust

    SciTech Connect

    McCabe, R.J.; Hilde, T.W.; Cole, J.T.; Sager, W.; Lee, C.S.

    1986-07-01

    The Sulu-Celebes-Banda basin is composed of three poorly understood marginal basins located between northwest Australia and southeast Asia. Recent studies have proposed that these three basins are remnants of once-continuous ocean basin. The on-land geology of this region is complicated. However, numerous stratigraphic and paleomagnetic studies on pre-Oligocene rocks are consistent with the interpretation that older landmasses presently dissecting the basin were translated into their present position during the middle to late Tertiary. Paleomagnetic data from the Philippines suggest that the Philippine arc is a composite of Early Cretaceous to Holocene arcs that were translated clockwise and from the southeast. Paleomagnetic and stratigraphic data from Kalimantan and Sulawesi suggest that these landmasses share a common origin and that Sulawesi was rifted eastward off of Borneo during the late Tertiary. Stratigraphic studies from the Sula microcontinent, Buru, Ceram, and Timor show close correlation to the stratigraphy of northwest Australia or New Guinea. In addition, paleomagnetic studies from Timor suggest that a portion of the island was part of Australia since the early Mesozoic.

  20. Characterization of the microbial community in a legacy borehole in the igneous ocean crust

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Salas, E. C.; Bhartia, R.; Hug, W. F.; Reid, R.; Edwards, K. J.

    2012-12-01

    The deep subsurface continues to hold promise as a significant reservoir of the Earth's microbiota. However, the extent and nature of microbial communities in the subsurface is still uncertain. Current efforts at elucidating the scope of deep subsurface communities include development of methods for enumeration of cells and characterization of metabolic niches. These methods typically rely on bulk analysis of extracted core material or in situ enrichment studies. Legacy boreholes, such as 395A, which have been isolated from the overlying ocean and sediment, have been proposed as good model systems to study the subsurface in its native state. However, current methods for exploring these environments do not allow for real-time analysis and, in the case of molecular work which rely on dyes to produce fluorescence signals, can be challenging due to issues such as mineral auto-fluorescence and non-specific binding. The Deep Exploration Biosphere Investigative tool (DEBI-t) was developed to explore legacy boreholes and provide near real-time characterization of borehole environments. DEBI-t utilizes deep ultraviolet (224nm) excitation to induce fluorescence (280nm - 400nm) enabling detection and classification of microbes and organics in their native environment, without the need for tagging or sample processing. This capability will be discussed using results from IODP Expedition 336.

  1. Magnetic properties of the Bay of Islands ophiolite suite and implications for the magnetization of oceanic crust

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Swift, B. Ann; Johnson, H. Paul

    1984-01-01

    Rock magnetic properties, opaque mineralogy, and degree of metamorphism were determined for 101 unoriented samples from the North Arm and Blow-Me-Down massifs of the Bay of Islands ophiolite complex, Newfoundland. The weathered and metamorphosed extrusive basalt samples have a weak, secondary magnetization arising from oxidation and exsolution of ilmenite of unknown origin. The initial magnetization of the underlying sheeted dike complex appears to have been destroyed by hydrothermal alteration soon after formation. The magnetic intensity of the gabbroic samples increases as the degree of alteration increases, with the highly altered upper metagabbros having an average intensity of 3×10−3 emu/c3. Because magnetization of the metagabbro samples is related to nonpervasive, variable alteration, these crustal units are unlikely to make a significant contribution to lineated magnetic anomalies. A compilation of our results and other studies suggests a model in which oceanic crust magnetization results from an upper extrusive basalt source layer, roughly 600 m thick, with no contribution from a deeper source layer recognizable from these Bay of Islands data.

  2. Constraints on the magmatic evolution of the oceanic crust from plagiogranite intrusions in the Oman ophiolite

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Haase, Karsten M.; Freund, Sarah; Beier, Christoph; Koepke, Jürgen; Erdmann, Martin; Hauff, Folkmar

    2016-05-01

    We present major and trace element as well as Sr, Nd, and Hf isotope data on a suite of 87 plutonic rock samples from 27 felsic crustal intrusions in seven blocks of the Oman ophiolite. The rock compositions of the sample suite including associated more mafic rocks range from 48 to 79 wt% SiO2, i.e. from gabbros to tonalites. The samples are grouped into a Ti-rich and relatively light rare earth element (LREE)-enriched P1 group [(Ce/Yb) N > 0.7] resembling the early V1 lavas, and a Ti-poor and LREE-depleted P2 group [(Ce/Yb) N < 0.7] resembling the late-stage V2 lavas. Based on the geochemical differences and in agreement with previous structural and petrographic models, we define phase 1 (P1) and phase 2 (P2) plutonic rocks. Felsic magmas in both groups formed by extensive fractional crystallization of olivine, clinopyroxene, plagioclase, apatite, and Ti-magnetite from mafic melts. The incompatible element compositions of P1 rocks overlap with those from mid-ocean ridges but have higher Ba/Nb and Th/Nb trending towards the P2 rock compositions and indicating an influence of a subducting slab. The P2 rocks formed from a more depleted mantle source but show a more pronounced slab signature. These rocks also occur in the southern blocks (with the exception of the Tayin block) of the Oman ophiolite implying that the entire ophiolite formed above a subducting slab. Initial Nd and Hf isotope compositions suggest an Indian-MORB-type mantle source for the Oman ophiolite magmas. Isotope compositions and high Th/Nb in some P2 rocks indicate mixing of a melt from subducted sediment into this mantle.

  3. Does seismic activity control carbon exchanges between transform-faults in old ocean crust and the deep sea? A hypothesis examined by the EU COST network FLOWS

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lever, M. A.

    2014-12-01

    The European Cooperation in Science and Technology (COST)-Action FLOWS (http://www.cost.eu/domains_actions/essem/Actions/ES1301) was initiated on the 25th of October 2013. It is a consortium formed by members of currently 14 COST countries and external partners striving to better understand the interplay between earthquakes and fluid flow at transform-faults in old oceanic crust. The recent occurrence of large earthquakes and discovery of deep fluid seepage calls for a revision of the postulated hydrogeological inactivity and low seismic activity of old oceanic transform-type plate boundaries, and indicates that earthquakes and fluid flow are intrinsically associated. This Action merges the expertise of a large number of research groups and supports the development of multidisciplinary knowledge on how seep fluid (bio)chemistry relates to seismicity. It aims to identify (bio)geochemical proxies for the detection of precursory seismic signals and to develop innovative physico-chemical sensors for deep-ocean seismogenic faults. National efforts are coordinated through Working Groups (WGs) focused on 1) geophysical and (bio)geochemical data acquisition; 2) modelling of structure and seismicity of faults; 3) engineering of deep-ocean physico-chemical seismic sensors; and 4) integration and dissemination. This poster will illustrate the overarching goals of the FLOWS Group, with special focus to research goals concerning the role of seismic activity in controlling the release of carbon from the old ocean crust into the deep ocean.

  4. Morphology and genesis of slow-spreading ridges-seabed scattering and seismic imaging within the oceanic crust

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Peirce, Christine; Sinha, Martin; Topping, Simon; Gill, Christopher

    2007-01-01

    A grid of 32 across-axis and five axis-parallel multichannel seismic (MCS) reflection profiles were acquired at an axial volcanic ridge (AVR) segment at 57° 45'N, 32° 35'W on the slow-spreading Reykjanes Ridge, Mid-Atlantic Ridge, to determine the along-axis variation and geometry of the axial magmatic system and to investigate the relationship between magma chamber structure, the along-axis continuity and segmentation of melt supply to the crust, the development of faulting and the thickness of oceanic layer 2A. Seismic reflection profiles acquired at mid-ocean ridges are prone to being swamped by high amplitude seabed scattered noise which can either mask or be mistaken for intracrustal reflection events. In this paper, we present the results of two approaches to this problem which simulate seabed scatter and which can either be used to remove or simply predict events within processed MCS profiles. The 37 MCS profiles show clear intracrustal seismic events which are related to the structure of oceanic layer 2, to the axial magmatic system and to the faults which dismember each AVR as it ages through its tectono-magmatic life cycle and which form the median valley walls. The layer 2A event can be mapped around the entirety of the survey area between 0.1 and 0.5 s two-way traveltime below the seabed, being thickest at AVR centres, and thinning both off-axis and along-axis towards AVR tips. Both AVR-parallel and ridge-parallel trends are observed, with the pattern of on-axis layer 2A thickness variation preserved beneath relict AVRs which are rafted off-axis largely intact. Each active AVR is underlain by a mid-crustal melt lens reflection extending almost along its entire length. Similar reflection events are observed beneath the offset basins between adjacent AVRs. These are interpreted as new AVRs at the start of their life cycle, developing centrally within the median valley. The east-west spacings of relict AVRs and offset basins is ~5-7 km, corresponding to

  5. Fluid flow pathways through the oceanic crust: reaction permeability and isotopic tracing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McCaig, Andrew; Castelain, Teddy; Klein, Frieder

    2013-04-01

    It is generally assumed that the dominant means of creating permeability in ocean floor hydrothermal systems is fracturing, induced either by cooling or by tectonic stress. Here we show textural evidence that metamorphic reactions can create a hierarchy of permeable pathways through gabbroic rocks similar to a fracture hierarchy. Isotopic microsampling shows that just as with fractures, most flow occurs through the larger channelways, and that even at the microscale, flow can be extremely heterogeneous with alteration affecting only certain minerals in the framework, leaving others untouched. Reaction permeability is created in three ways; dissolution creating open porosity, microcracking due to volume increase reactions involving olivine, and expansion of water due to rapid heating in dyke margins, particularly when intruded into brecciated rocks. Our data comes from IODP Hole U1309D, which was drilled to 1400 mbsf in the footwall of the Atlantis Massif detachment fault at the Mid-Atlantic Ridge 30°N. The core is composed of gabbroic rocks interlayered with olivine rich troctolites, with several basalt/diabase sills in the top 130 m. The dominant alteration occurred in the greenschist facies, at depths at least 1 km below seafloor, and decreases in intensity downhole. Whole rock oxygen isotope values range from +5.5 permil to +1.5 permil, indicating variable degrees of interaction with seawater at temperatures generally > 250 °C. Gabbroic rocks and diabases exhibit a range of Sr isotope ratios from MORB values (0.70261) to intermediate ratios (0.70429). Microsampling shows that amphiboles are often more radiogenic than coexisting plagioclase and can sometimes be isotopically altered in the same rock as completely unaltered primary minerals. Large (10 cm) amphibole-filled vugs show values ranging up to 0.708, close to seawater. In some cases however the secondary minerals are virtually unaltered indicating low fluid fluxes in pervasive alteration. SEM textures in

  6. Evidence for Thin Oceanic Crust on the Extinct Aegir Ridge, Norwegian Basin, N.E. Atlantic Derived from Satellite Gravity Inversion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Greenhalgh, E. E.; Kusznir, N. J.

    2006-12-01

    Satellite gravity inversion incorporating a lithosphere thermal gravity correction has been used to map crustal thickness and lithosphere thinning factor for the N.E. Atlantic. The inversion of gravity data to determine crustal thickness incorporates a lithosphere thermal gravity anomaly correction for both oceanic and continental margin lithosphere. Predicted crustal thicknesses in the Norwegian Basin are between 7 and 4 km on the extinct Aegir oceanic ridge which ceased sea-floor spreading in the Oligocene. Crustal thickness estimates do not include a correction for sediment thickness and are upper bounds. Crustal thicknesses determined by gravity inversion for the Aegir Ridge are consistent with recent estimates derived using refraction seismology by Breivik et al. (2006). Failure to incorporate a lithosphere thermal gravity anomaly correction produces an over-estimate of crustal thickness. Oceanic crustal thicknesses within the Norwegian Basin are predicted by the gravity inversion to increase to 9-10 km eastwards towards the Norwegian (Moere) and westwards towards the Jan Mayen micro-continent, consistent with volcanic margin continental breakup at the end of the Palaeocene. The observation (from gravity inversion and seismic refraction studies) of thin oceanic crust produced by the Aegir ocean ridge in the Oligocene has implications for the temporal evolution of asthenosphere temperature under the N.E. Atlantic during the Tertiary. Thin Oligocene oceanic crust may imply cool (normal) asthenosphere temperatures during the Oligocene in contrast to elevated asthenosphere temperatures in the Palaeocene and Miocene-Recent as indicated by volcanic margin formation and the formation of Iceland respectively. Gravity inversion also predicts a region of thin oceanic crust to the west of the northern part of the Jan Mayen micro-continent and to the east of the thicker oceanic crust currently being formed at the Kolbeinsey Ridge. Thicker crust (c.f. ocean basins) is

  7. First findings of Paleo- and Mesoarchean zircons in the rocks from the Central Arctic province of oceanic rises as an evidence of the ancient continental crust

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sergeev, S. A.; Presnyakov, S. L.; Antonov, A. V.; Belyatsky, B. V.; Rodionov, N. V.; Shevchenko, S. S.

    2015-07-01

    This report presents the results of local U-Pb zircon dating (SIMS SHRIMP II) for a sample of migmatite gneiss dredged on the western slope of Alpha Ridge in the Arctic Ocean in the course of the "Arktika-2012" Russian polar expedition. The distribution of U-Pb ages of the examined zircon points to the Early Precambrian origin of this gneiss, for the bulk of the zircon was crystallized at least 3450 Ma ago from a magmatic melt under acidic volcanism at the primary crust formation. Zircon of the second generation was crystallized 3300 Ma ago under the remelting of acid volcanics and appearance of migmatite gneisses under the amphibolite facies of metamorphism. Most likely, a partial recrystallization of zircon and formation of microfolded structures and foliation took place 3000 Ma ago at the stage of rocks deformation. The latest zircon was formed 1900 Ma ago from the crust fluid or melt under the low-gradient metamorphism. In view of the possibility of the appearance of the treated clastogenic gneiss fragment under current oceanic erosion, the obtained results allow one to affirm that the occurrence of a fragment of the most ancient sialic continental crust formed at least 3450 Ma ago is possible at the submarine rises of the Arctic Ocean (Alpha Ridge and the Mendeleev Rise).

  8. Long-distance fluid and heat transport in the oceanic crust entering the Nankai subduction zone, NanTroSEIZE transect

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Spinelli, Glenn A.

    2014-03-01

    I examine the potential causes of anomalous seafloor heat flux on the oceanic plate in the Nankai Trough Seismogenic Zone Experiment (NanTroSEIZE) transect offshore southern Japan. The most prominent anomaly is a ˜50 mW m change in heat flux between Integrated Ocean Drilling Program Sites C0011 and C0012 over a distance of <10 km. I develop thermal models to investigate the effects of hydrothermal circulation in the basaltic basement of the oceanic crust and variations in heat input from the mantle. The <10 km wide transition in surface heat flux reflects a process in the shallow subsurface; variations in heat input from ⩾5 km depth would generate a >30 km wide transition at the seafloor. The observed surface heat flux pattern is indicative of hydrothermal circulation in the basement aquifer and advection of heat from the subducted crust into the aquifer on the incoming plate. For a 600 m thick aquifer, the permeability is likely ⩾7×10-11 m, and hydrothermal circulation transports at least 300 times more heat than conduction alone. The heat flux from the subduction zone seaward to the incoming plate is consistent with hydrothermal circulation in the subducting crust persisting to ˜100 km landward of the deformation front. Vigorous fluid circulation in the basaltic basement is consistent with both the seafloor thermal anomalies and geochemical anomalies near the sediment-basement interface.

  9. Unstable fault slip induced by lawsonite dehydration in blueschist: Implication for the seismicity in the subducting oceanic crusts

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Okazaki, K.; Hirth, G.

    2015-12-01

    Intermediate-depth earthquakes in cold subduction zones are observed within the subducting oceanic crust, as well as the subducting mantle In contrast, intermediate-depth earthquakes in hot subduction zones predominantly occur just below the Moho. These observations have stimulated interest in potential relationships between blueschist-facies metamorphism and seismicity, particularly through the dehydration reactions involving lawsonite. The rheology of these high-pressure and low-temperature metamorphic minerals is largely unknown. We conducted experiments on lawsonite accompanied by monitoring of acoustic emission (AE) in a Griggs-type deformation apparatus. Deformation was started at the confining pressure of 1.0 GPa, the temperature of 300 ˚C, and constant displacement rates of 0.16 to 0.016 μm/s, that correspond to equivalent strain rates (ɛ) of 9 × 10-5 to 9 × 10-6 1/s. In these experiments, temperature was increased at the temperature ramp rate of 0.5 to 0.05˚C/s above the thermal stability of lawsonite (600˚C) while the sample was deforming to test whether the dehydration reaction induces unstable fault slip. In contrast to similar tests on antigorite, unstable fault slip (i.e., stick-slip) occurred during dehydration reactions in the lawsonite gouge layer, and AE signals were continuously observed. Microstructural observations indicate that strain is highly localized along the fault (R1 and B shear), and the fault surface shows mirror-like slickensides. The unloading slope (i.e., rate of stress drop as a function of slip) during the unstable slip follows the stiffness of the apparatus at all experimental conditions regardless of the strain rate and temperature ramping rate. A thermal-mechanical scaling factor in the experiments covers the range estimated for natural subduction zones, indicating the potential for unstable frictional sliding within natural lawsonite layers to induce seismicity in cold subduction zones.

  10. Mobility of Au and related elements during the hydrothermal alteration of the oceanic crust: implications for the sources of metals in VMS deposits

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Patten, Clifford G. C.; Pitcairn, Iain K.; Teagle, Damon A. H.; Harris, Michelle

    2016-02-01

    Volcanogenic massive sulphide (VMS) deposits are commonly enriched in Cu, Zn and Pb and can also be variably enriched in Au, As, Sb, Se and Te. The behaviour of these elements during hydrothermal alteration of the oceanic crust is not well known. Ocean Drilling Program (ODP) Hole 1256D penetrates a complete in situ section of the upper oceanic crust, providing a unique sample suite to investigate the behaviour of metals during hydrothermal alteration. A representative suite of samples was analysed for Au, As, Sb, Se and Te using low detection limit methods, and a mass balance of metal mobility has been carried out through comparison with a fresh Mid-Oceanic Ridge Basalt (MORB) glass database. The mass balance shows that Au, As, Se, Sb, S, Cu, Zn and Pb are depleted in the sheeted dyke and plutonic complexes by -46 ± 12, -27 ± 5, -2.5 ± 0.5, -27 ± 6, -8.4 ± 0.7, -9.6 ± 1.6, -7.9 ± 0.5 and -44 ± 6 %, respectively. Arsenic and Sb are enriched in the volcanic section due to seawater-derived fluid circulation. Calculations suggest that large quantities of metal are mobilised from the oceanic crust but only a small proportion is eventually trapped as VMS mineralisation. The quantity of Au mobilised and the ratio of Au to base metals are similar to those of mafic VMS, and ten times enrichment of Au would be needed to form a Au-rich VMS. The Cu-rich affinity of mafic VMS deposits could be explained by base metal fractionation both in the upper sheeted dykes and during VMS deposit formation.

  11. Seismic Reflection Images of Deep Lithospheric Faults and Thin Crust at the Actively Deforming Indo-Australian Plate Boundary in the Indian Ocean

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Singh, S. C.; Carton, H.; Chauhan, A.; Dyment, J.; Cannat, M.; Hananto, N.; Hartoyo, D.; Tapponnier, P.; Davaille, A.

    2007-12-01

    Recently, we acquired deep seismic reflection data using a state-of-the-art technology of Schlumberger having a powerful source (10,000 cubic inch) and a 12 km long streamer along a 250 km long trench parallel line offshore Sumatra in the Indian Ocean deformation zone that provides seismic reflection image down to 40 km depth over the old oceanic lithosphere formed at Wharton spreading centre about 55-57 Ma ago. We observe deep penetrating faults that go down to 37 km depth (~24 km in the oceanic mantle), providing the first direct evidence for full lithospheric-scale deformation in an intra-plate oceanic domain. These faults dip NE and have dips between 25 and 40 degrees. The majority of faults are present in the mantle and are spaced at about 5 km, and do not seem cut through the Moho. We have also imaged active strike-slip fault zones that seem to be associated with the re-activation of ancient fracture zones, which is consistent with previous seismological and seafloor observations. The geometries of the deep penetrating faults neither seem to correspond to faulting associated with the plate bending at the subduction front nor with the re-activation of fracture zone that initiated about 7.5 Ma ago, and therefore, we suggest that these deep mantle faults were formed due to compressive stress at the beginning of the hard collision between India and Eurasia, soon after the cessation of seafloor spreading in the Wharton basin. We also find that the crust generated at the fast Wharton spreading centre 55-57 Ma ago is only 3.5-4.5 km thick, the thinnest crust ever observed in a fast spreading environment. We suggest that this extremely thin crust is due to 40-50°C lower than normal mantle temperature in this part of the Indian Ocean during its formation.

  12. Effect of subduction components on production of basalts from Tateshina volcano, central Japan: geochemical calculation of dehydration of subducting oceanic crust and partial melting of overlying sediments, and subsequent fluid-mantle interaction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Katoh, Masayasu; Shuto, Kenji

    Effect of subduction components on production of basalts from Tateshina volcano, central Japan: geochemical calculation of dehydration of subducting oceanic crust and partial melting of overlying sediments, and subsequent fluid-mantle interaction

  13. Mafic granulite xenoliths in the Chilka Lake suite, Eastern Ghats Belt, India: evidence of deep-subduction of residual oceanic crust

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bhattacharya, S.; Chaudhary, A. K.; Saw, A. K.; Das, P.; Chatterjee, D.

    2012-11-01

    Granulite xenoliths preserve key geochemical and isotopic signatures of their mantle source regions. Mafic granulite and pyroxinite xenoliths within massif-type charnockitic rocks from the Eastern Ghats Belt have recently been reported by us. The mafic granulite xenoliths from the Chilka Lake granulite suite with abundant prograde biotite are geochemically akin to Oceanic Island Basalt (OIB). They can be distinguished from the hornblende-mafic granulite xenoliths with signatures of Arc-derived basalt occurring in the other suites of the Eastern Ghats Belt. These two groups of xenoliths in the Paleoproterozoic Eastern Ghats Province have quite distinct Nd-model ages- 1.9 Ga and 2.5 Ga respectively, which may be interpreted as their crustal residence ages. Strong positive Nb anomalies, indicating subducted oceanic crust in the source, LREE enrichment and strongly fractionated REE pattern are key geochemical signatures attesting to their origin as OIB-type magma. Also low Yb and Sc contents and high (La / Yb)N ratios can be attributed to melting in the presence of residual garnet and hence at great depths (> 80 km). The variable enrichment in radiogenic 87Sr, between 0.70052 and 0.71092 at 1.9 Ga and less radiogenic 143Nd between ɛ-1.54 and 7.46 are similar to those of the OIBs compared to MORBs. As OIBs commonly contain some recycled oceanic crust in their sources, we suggest that the residue of the oceanic crust from a previous melting event (~ 2.5 Ga) that produced the Arc-derived basalts (protoliths of hornblende-mafic granulite xenoliths) could have subducted to great depths and mechanically mixed with the mantle peridotite. A subsequent re-melting event of this mixed source might have occurred at ca. 1.9 Ga as testified by the crustal residence ages of the biotite-mafic granulite xenoliths of the Chilka Lake granulite suite.

  14. Compositional variations in spinel-hosted pargasite inclusions in the olivine-rich rock from the oceanic crust-mantle boundary zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tamura, Akihiro; Morishita, Tomoaki; Ishimaru, Satoko; Hara, Kaori; Sanfilippo, Alessio; Arai, Shoji

    2016-05-01

    The crust-mantle boundary zone of the oceanic lithosphere is composed mainly of olivine-rich rocks represented by dunite and troctolite. However, we still do not fully understand the global variations in the boundary zone, and an effective classification of the boundary rocks, in terms of their petrographical features and origin, is an essential step in achieving such an understanding. In this paper, to highlight variations in olivine-rich rocks from the crust-mantle boundary, we describe the compositional variations in spinel-hosted hydrous silicate mineral inclusions in rock samples from the ocean floor near a mid-ocean ridge and trench. Pargasite is the dominant mineral among the inclusions, and all of them are exceptionally rich in incompatible elements. The host spinel grains are considered to be products of melt-peridotite reactions, because their origin cannot be ascribed to simple fractional crystallization of a melt. Trace-element compositions of pargasite inclusions are characteristically different between olivine-rich rock samples, in terms of the degree of Eu and Zr anomalies in the trace-element pattern. When considering the nature of the reaction that produced the inclusion-hosting spinel, the compositional differences between samples were found to reflect a diversity in the origin of the olivine-rich rocks, as for example in whether or not a reaction was accompanied by the fractional crystallization of plagioclase. The differences also reflect the fact that the melt flow system (porous or focused flow) controlled the melt/rock ratios during reaction. The pargasite inclusions provide useful data for constraining the history and origin of the olivine-rich rocks and therefore assist in our understanding of the crust-mantle boundary of the oceanic lithosphere.

  15. Reconstruction of seawater chemistry from deeply subducted oceanic crust; hydrogen and oxygen isotope of lawsonite eclogites preserving pillow structure

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hamabata, D., VI; Masuyama, Y.; Tomiyasu, F.; Ueno, Y.; Yui, T. F.; Okamoto, K.

    2014-12-01

    In order to understand evolution of life, change of seawater chemistry from Hadean, Archean to present is significant. Pillow structure is well-preserved in the Archean greenstone belt (e.g. Komiya et al., 1999). Oxygen and hydrogen isotope of rims in the pillow is useful conventional tool to decipher chemistry of Paleao-seawater from Archean to Present. However, Archean greenstone belt suffered regional metamorphism from greenschist to Amphibolite facies conditions. Therefore, it is necessary to testify the validity of pillow chemistry from recent (Phanerozoic) metamorphosed greenstone. We have systematically collected pillowed greenstone from blueschist and eclogites. Two eclogite exhibiting pillow structures were chosen for oxygen and hydrogen isotope analysis. One is from Corsica (lawsonite eclogite collected with Dr. Alberto Vidale Barbarone) and another is from Cazadero, Franciscan belt (collected by Dr. Tatsuki Tsujimori). The both are ascribed as MORB from major and trace bulk chemistry and Ca is rich in the core and Na is poor in the rims. The former exhibits garnet, omphacite, lawsonite, and glacophane. Phengite is in core of the pillow and chlorite is in the rims. In the latter, besides garnet, omphacite, epdiote and glaucophane, chlorite is recognized with phengite in the core. Glaucophane is richer in the rims from the both samples, therefore istope analysis of glaucophane was done. Mineral separation was carefully done using micro-mill, heavy liquid and isodynamic separator. 20 mg specimens were used for oxygen isotope analysis and 2mg were for hydrogen analysis. δ18O of the all analysis (7.7 to 8.3) is within the range of unaltered igneous oceanic crust and high temperature hydrothermal alteration although rims (8.3 for Franciscan and 8.0 for Corsica) are higher than cores (7.7 for Franciscan and Corsica). δD data is also consistent with hydrothermal alteration. It is relative higher in core from the Corsica and Franciscan (-45 and -56) than of the

  16. Broadband Marine Magnetotelluric Exploration of the Crust at a Petroleum Prospect and a Mid-Ocean RIdge

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Key, K. W.; Constable, S. C.

    2004-12-01

    Broadband marine magnetotelluric (MT) instrumentation developed at Scripps Institution of Oceanography enables resolution of electrical resistivity structure at much shallower depths than previously attainable. While marine seismic reflection surveys have routinely surveyed crustal structure on the continental shelves and mid-ocean ridges, traditional marine MT sensors were only capable of measuring long period fields and so MT experiments were limited to studying mantle structure. The introduction of low-noise sensors allows the broadband MT instrument to now measure the shorter period fields that contain information about crustal resistivity structure. We present two case studies of using the broadband MT system at areas previously surveyed with seismic methods. The joint interpretation of both seismic and MT models for these case studies leads to an improved geological interpretation. At Gemini Prospect in the northern Gulf of Mexico we have collected 42 MT sites in a grid over a three-dimensional (3D) resistive salt structure associated with the petroleum prospect. Depth migrated seismic reflection profiles from a 3D seismic survey at Gemini allow for the verification of two-dimensional (2D) MT inversion models. Combined images of the MT resistivity and seismic reflection profiles show that 2D MT can recover that salt body despite its 3D shape. A steeply dipping and overhanging resistive feature correlates with a previously uninterpreted strong reflection and illustrates how MT can constrain structure in regions where the seismic method performs poorly. A thin and shallow resistive feature shown outside the seismic salt volume may indicate a change in porosity or pore fluids associated with a natural trap in the sediments. At the East Pacific Rise near 9{o50'}N, a pilot survey using the broadband instruments shows sensitivity to structure at shallower depths than previous ridge MT experiments. Two-dimensional inversion of data from 4 MT sites shows a high

  17. Recycling of nitrogen during subduction of oceanic crust: insights from high-pressure and ultra-high pressure metamorphic rocks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Halama, R.; Bebout, G.; John, T.; Schenk, V.

    2008-12-01

    During subduction, a significant amount of nitrogen (N) is fixed in the subducting altered oceanic crust (AOC) and, for some margins, the subduction input flux of N in AOC is thought to rival that in sediment. However, the ultimate fate of N during subduction-zone metamorphism remains unclear. N may be released from the AOC and added to arcs, it may be retained in the AOC and incorporated into the mantle, or it may enter fluids along the slab-mantle interface. Moreover, it is not known whether the increase in δ15N accompanying prograde metamorphism of sedimentary rocks also occurs during subduction of mafic igneous rocks and thus what the isotopic contribution of the metabasaltic rocks is when they enter the mantle. In this study, we have analyzed HP/UHP metabasaltic rocks from world-wide localities (Zambia, Italy, Ecuador, China and Spain; range of peak-metamorphic P-T conditions of 14-30 kbar and 500-800°C) for N concentrations and δ15N in an attempt to characterize subduction input flux of N in AOC. Eclogites have variable N concentrations (2 to 20 ppm) and δ15N ranging from -1 to +8. Blueschists contain up to 50 ppm N and overlap in δ15N with the eclogites. In both concentration and δ15N, the HP/UHP metamorphosed mafic rocks are distinct from fresh MORB (N = 1.1 ppm and δ15N = -4 ± 2), but overlap with AOC, consistent with retention of a significant proportion of N during prograde metamorphism. However, trends on diagrams that discriminate between seafloor alteration and metamorphic additions and the concurrent enrichment of N with Ba, Pb, Rb and Cs, together with δ15N values, suggest that some sample sequences (China, Ecuador) were enriched in metasedimentary N by HP/UHP fluid-rock interactions. Others (Italy, Zambia) lack those correlations and appear to more closely reflect the characteristics of the precursor AOC. A sample profile through a prograde blueschist-to-eclogite transformation from the Tianshan (China) reveals that N as well as Rb, Ba and

  18. North Atlantic Deep Water export to the Southern Ocean over the past 14 Myr: Evidence from Nd and Pb isotopes in ferromanganese crusts

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Frank, M.; Whiteley, N.; Kasten, S.; Hein, J.R.; O'Nions, K.

    2002-01-01

    The intensity of North Atlantic Deep Water (NADW) production has been one of the most important parameters controlling the global thermohaline ocean circulation system and climate. Here we present a new approach to reconstruct the overall strength of NADW export from the North Atlantic to the Southern Ocean over the past 14 Myr applying the deep water Nd and Pb isotope composition as recorded by ferromanganese crusts and nodules. We present the first long-term Nd and Pb isotope time series for deep Southern Ocean water masses, which are compared with previously published time series for NADW from the NW Atlantic Ocean. These data suggest a continuous and strong export of NADW, or a precursor of it, into the Southern Ocean between 14 and 3 Ma. An increasing difference in Nd and Pb isotope compositions between the NW Atlantic and the Southern Ocean over the past 3 Myr gives evidence for a progressive overall reduction of NADW export since the onset of Northern Hemisphere glaciation (NHG). The Nd isotope data allow us to assess at least semiquantitatively that the amount of this reduction has been in the range between 14 and 37% depending on location.

  19. Oceanic crust in the mid-mantle beneath Central-West Pacific subduction zones: Evidence from S-to-P converted waveforms

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    He, X.

    2015-12-01

    The fate of subducted slabs is enigmatic, yet intriguing. We analyze seismic arrivals at ~20-50 s after the direct P wave in an array in northeast China (NECESSArray) recordings of four deep earthquakes occurring beneath the west-central Pacific subduction zones (from the eastern Indonesia to Tonga region). We employ the array analyzing techniques of 4th root vespagram and beam-form analysis to constrain the slowness and back azimuth of later arrivals. Our analyses reveal that these arrivals have a slightly lower slowness value than the direct P wave and the back azimuth deviates slightly from the great-circle direction. Along with calculation of one-dimensional synthetic seismograms, we conclude that the later arrival is corresponding to an energy of S-to-P converted at a scatterer below the sources. Total five scatterers are detected at depths varying from ~700 to 1110 km in the study region. The past subducted oceanic crust most likely accounts for the seismic scatterers trapped in the mid-mantle beneath the west-central subduction zones. Our observation in turn reflects that oceanic crust at least partly separated from subducted oceanic lithosphere and may be trapped substantially in the mid-mantle surrounding subduction zones, in particular in the western Pacific subduction zones.

  20. Oceanic crust in the mid-mantle beneath west-central Pacific subduction zones: evidence from S to P converted waveforms

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yang, Zhongtao; He, Xiaobo

    2015-10-01

    The fate of subducted slabs is enigmatic, yet intriguing. We analyse seismic arrivals at ˜20-50 s after the direct P wave in an array in northeast China (NECESSArray) recordings of four deep earthquakes occurring beneath the west-central Pacific subduction zones (from the eastern Indonesia to Tonga region). We employ the array analysing techniques of fourth root vespagram and beam-forming analysis to constrain the slowness and backazimuth of later arrivals. Our analyses reveal that these arrivals have a slightly lower slowness value than the direct P wave and the backazimuth deviates slightly from the great circle direction. Along with calculation of 1-D synthetic seismograms, we conclude that the later arrival is corresponding to an energy of S-to-P converted at a scatterer below the sources. Total five scatterers are detected at depths varying from ˜700 to 1110 km in the study region. The past subducted oceanic crust most likely accounts for the seismic scatterers trapped in the mid-mantle beneath the west-central subduction zones. Our observation in turn reflects that oceanic crust at least partly separated from subducted oceanic lithosphere and may be trapped substantially in the mid-mantle surrounding subduction zones, in particular in the western Pacific subduction zones.

  1. Sulfur geochemistry and microbial sulfate reduction during low-temperature alteration of uplifted lower oceanic crust: Insights from ODP Hole 735B

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Alford, Susan E.; Alt, Jeffrey C.; Shanks, Wayne C., III

    2011-01-01

    Sulfide petrography plus whole rock contents and isotope ratios of sulfur were measured in a 1.5 km section of oceanic gabbros in order to understand the geochemistry of sulfur cycling during low-temperature seawater alteration of the lower oceanic crust, and to test whether microbial effects may be present. Most samples have low SO4/ΣS values (≤ 0.15), have retained igneous globules of pyrrhotite ± chalcopyrite ± pentlandite, and host secondary aggregates of pyrrhotite and pyrite laths in smectite ± iron-oxyhydroxide ± magnetite ± calcite pseudomorphs of olivine and clinopyroxene. Compared to fresh gabbro containing 100–1800 ppm sulfur our data indicate an overall addition of sulfide to the lower crust. Selection of samples altered only at temperatures ≤ 110 °C constrains microbial sulfate reduction as the only viable mechanism for the observed sulfide addition, which may have been enabled by the production of H2 from oxidation of associated olivine and pyroxene. The wide range in δ34Ssulfide values (− 1.5 to + 16.3‰) and variable additions of sulfide are explained by variable εsulfate-sulfide under open system pathways, with a possible progression into closed system pathways. Some samples underwent oxidation related to seawater penetration along permeable fault horizons and have lost sulfur, have high SO4/ΣS (≥ 0.46) and variable δ34Ssulfide (0.7 to 16.9‰). Negative δ34Ssulfate–δ34Ssulfide values for the majority of samples indicate kinetic isotope fractionation during oxidation of sulfide minerals. Depth trends in sulfide–sulfur contents and sulfide mineral assemblages indicate a late-stage downward penetration of seawater into the lower 1 km of Hole 735B. Our results show that under appropriate temperature conditions, a subsurface biosphere can persist in the lower oceanic crust and alter its geochemistry.

  2. Recycled oceanic crust in the source of 90-40 Ma basalts in North and Northeast China: Evidence, provenance and significance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Xu, Yi-Gang

    2014-10-01

    Major, trace element and Sr-Nd-Pb isotopic data of basalts emplaced during 90-40 Ma in the North and Northeast China are compiled in this review, with aims of constraining their petrogenesis, and by inference the evolution of the North China Craton during the late Cretaceous and early Cenozoic. Three major components are identified in magma source, including depleted component I and II, and an enriched component. The depleted component I, which is characterized by relatively low 87Sr/86Sr (<0.7030), moderate 206Pb/204Pb (18.2), moderately high εNd (∼4), high Eu/Eu∗ (>1.1) and HIMU-like trace element characteristics, is most likely derived from gabbroic cumulate of the oceanic crust. The depleted component II, which distinguishes itself by its high εNd (∼8) and moderate 87Sr/86Sr (∼0.7038), is probably derived from a sub-lithospheric ambient mantle. The enriched component has low εNd (2-3), high 87Sr/86Sr (>0.7065), low 206Pb/204Pb (17), excess Sr, Rb, Ba and a deficiency of Zr and Hf relative to the REE. This component is likely from the basaltic portion of the oceanic crust, which is variably altered by seawater and contains minor sediments. Comparison with experimental melts and trace element modeling suggest that these recycled oceanic components may be in form of garnet pyroxenite/eclogite. These components are young (<0.5 Ga) and show an Indian-MORB isotopic character. Given the share of this isotopic affinity by the extinct Izanaghi-Pacific plate, currently stagnated within the mantle transition zone, we propose that it ultimately comes from the subducted Pacific slab. Eu/Eu∗ and 87Sr/86Sr of the 90-40 Ma magmas increases and decreases, respectively, with decreasing emplacement age, mirroring a change in magma source from upper to lower parts of subducted oceanic crust. Such secular trends are created by dynamic melting of a heterogeneous mantle containing recycled oceanic crust. Due to different melting temperature of the upper and lower ocean

  3. Insights into Oceanic Crust Accretion from a Comparison of Rock Magnetic and Silicate Fabrics from Lower Crustal Gabbros from Hess Deep Rift

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Horst, A. J.; Morris, A.; Friedman, S. A.; Cheadle, M. J.

    2014-12-01

    The mechanisms of lower crustal accretion remain a long-standing question for those who study fast-spreading mid-ocean ridges. One of the goals of Integrated Ocean Drilling Program (IODP) Expedition 345 is to test accretionary models by investigating the structure of the lower oceanic crust exposed within the Hess Deep Rift. Located near the tip of the westward-propagating Cocos-Nazca spreading center, Hess Deep Rift exposes crust formed at the East Pacific Rise. During IODP Expedition 345, primitive gabbroic rocks were recovered from a dismembered lower crustal section at ~4850 meters below sealevel. Constraints on physical processes during magmatic accretion are provided by the relative orientation and strength of rock fabrics. We present anisotropy of magnetic susceptibility (AMS) fabric data from gabbros recovered from the two deepest holes (U1415J and U1415P). AMS measurements provide petrofabric data that may be used to constrain magma emplacement and subsequent magmatic flow. Bulk susceptibility ranges from 1.15 x 10-4 to 5.73 x 10-2 SI, with a majority of the samples having susceptibility greater than 10-3 SI, suggesting magnetite is the dominant contributor to the AMS signal. Low-temperature demagnetization data show Verwey transitions near 125K indicating the presence of nearly stoichiometric magnetite in most samples. AMS reveals dominantly oblate fabrics with a moderate degree of anisotropy (P') ranging from 1.01 to 1.38 (average P' = 1.13). Fabric strength varies within each of the petrologically-defined units recovered from different crustal blocks. Additional remanence anisotropy fabric analyses of a few specimens reveal nearly identical directions of principal axes compared to AMS, but with larger degrees of anisotropy. Electron backscatter diffraction (EBSD) data from one sample shows a moderate plagioclase crystallographic preferred orientation best defined by a b-axis maxima that is coincident with the AMS minimum principal axis. This comparison

  4. Diffusive Transfer of Oxygen From Seamount Basaltic Crust Into Overlying Sediments: an Example From the Clarion-Clipperton Fracture Zone, Equatorial Pacific Ocean

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kasten, S.; Mewes, K.; Mogollón, J.; Picard, A.; Rühlemann, C.; Eisenhauer, A.; Kuhn, T.; Ziebis, W.

    2015-12-01

    Within the Clarion-Clipperton Fracture Zone (CCFZ) located in the equatorial Pacific Ocean numerous seamounts, with diameters ranging from 3 to 30 km and varying heights above the surrounding seafloor of up to 2500 m, occur throughout the deep-sea plain. There is evidence that these may serve as conduits for low-temperature hydrothermal circulation of seawater through the oceanic crust. During RV SONNE cruise SO205 in April/May 2010 and BIONOD cruise with RV ĹATALANTE in spring 2012 we took piston and gravity cores for geochemical analyses, as well as for high-resolution pore-water oxygen and nutrient measurements. Specifically, we took cores along a transect at three sites, located 400, 700 and 1000 m away from the foot of a 240 m high seamount, called 'Teddy Bare'. At all 3 sites oxygen penetrates the entire sediment column of the organic carbon-poor sediment. More importantly, oxygen concentrations initially decrease with sediment depth but increase again at depths of 3 m and 7 m above the basaltic basement, suggesting an upward diffusion of oxygen from seawater circulating within the seamount crust into the overlying basal sediments. This is the first time this has been shown for the deep subsurface in the Pacific Ocean. Mirroring the oxygen concentrations nitrate concentrations accumulate with sediment depth but decrease towards the basement. Transport-reaction modeling revealed that (1) the diffusive flux of oxygen from the basaltic basement exceeds the oxygen consumption through organic matter oxidation and nitrification in the basal sediments and (2) the nutrient exchange between the sediment and the underlying basaltic crust occurs at orders-of-magnitude lower rates than between the sediment surface and the overlying bottom water. We furthermore show that the upward diffusion of oxygen from the basaltic basement affects the preservation of organic compounds within the oxic sediment column at all 3 sites. Our investigations indicate that an upward

  5. Recycled oceanic crust in the source of 90-40 Ma basalts in North and Northeast China: Evidence, provenance and significance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Xu, Yi-Gang

    2014-10-01

    Major, trace element and Sr-Nd-Pb isotopic data of basalts emplaced during 90-40 Ma in the North and Northeast China are compiled in this review, with aims of constraining their petrogenesis, and by inference the evolution of the North China Craton during the late Cretaceous and early Cenozoic. Three major components are identified in magma source, including depleted component I and II, and an enriched component. The depleted component I, which is characterized by relatively low 87Sr/86Sr (<0.7030), moderate 206Pb/204Pb (18.2), moderately high εNd (∼4), high Eu/Eu∗ (>1.1) and HIMU-like trace element characteristics, is most likely derived from gabbroic cumulate of the oceanic crust. The depleted component II, which distinguishes itself by its high εNd (∼8) and moderate 87Sr/86Sr (∼0.7038), is probably derived from a sub-lithospheric ambient mantle. The enriched component has low εNd (2-3), high 87Sr/86Sr (>0.7065), low 206Pb/204Pb (17), excess Sr, Rb, Ba and a deficiency of Zr and Hf relative to the REE. This component is likely from the basaltic portion of the oceanic crust, which is variably altered by seawater and contains minor sediments. Comparison with experimental melts and trace element modeling suggest that these recycled oceanic components may be in form of garnet pyroxenite/eclogite. These components are young (<0.5 Ga) and show an Indian-MORB isotopic character. Given the share of this isotopic affinity by the extinct Izanaghi-Pacific plate, currently stagnated within the mantle transition zone, we propose that it ultimately comes from the subducted Pacific slab. Eu/Eu∗ and 87Sr/86Sr of the 90-40 Ma magmas increases and decreases, respectively, with decreasing emplacement age, mirroring a change in magma source from upper to lower parts of subducted oceanic crust. Such secular trends are created by dynamic melting of a heterogeneous mantle containing recycled oceanic crust. Due to different melting temperature of the upper and lower ocean

  6. Intermediate crust (IC); its construction at continent edges, distinctive epeirogenic behaviour and identification as sedimentary basins within continents: new light on pre-oceanic plate motions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Osmaston, Miles F.

    2014-05-01

    Introduction. The plate tectonics paradigm currently posits that the Earth has only two kinds of crust - continental and oceanic - and that the former may be stretched to form sedimentary basins or the latter may be modified by arc or collision until it looks continental. But global analysis of the dynamics of actual plate motions for the past 150 Ma indicates [1 - 3] that continental tectospheres must be immensely thicker and rheologically stiffer than previously thought; almost certainly too thick to be stretched with the forces available. In the extreme case of cratons, these tectospheric keels evidently extend to 600 km or more [2, 3]. This thick-plate behaviour is attributable, not to cooling but to a petrological 'stiffening' effect, associated with a loss of water-weakening of the mineral crystals, which also applies to the hitherto supposedly mobile LVZ below MORs [4, 5]. The corresponding thick-plate version of the mid-ocean ridge (MOR) process [6 - 8], replacing the divergent mantle flow model, has a deep, narrow wall-accreting axial crack which not only provides the seismic anisotropy beneath the flanks but also brings two outstanding additional benefits:- (i) why, at medium to fast spreading rates, MOR axes become straight and orthogonally segmented [6], (ii) not being driven by body forces, it can achieve the sudden jumps of axis, spreading-rate and direction widely present in the ocean-floor record. Furthermore, as we will illustrate, the crack walls push themselves apart at depth by a thermodynamic mechanism, so the plates are not being pulled apart. So the presence of this process at a continental edge would not imply the application of extensional force to the margin. Intermediate Crust (IC). In seeking to resolve the paradox that superficially extensional structures are often seen at margins we will first consider how this MOR process would be affected by the heavy concurrent sedimentation to be expected when splitting a mature continent. I reason

  7. Insights on the Formation and Evolution of the Upper Oceanic Crust from Deep Drilling at ODP/IODP Hole 1256D

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Teagle, D. A. H.

    2009-04-01

    Deep drilling of Hole 1256D on ODP Leg 206 and IODP Expeditions 309/312 provides the first complete section of intact upper oceanic crust down to gabbros. Site 1256 is located on ocean crust of the Cocos Plate that formed at the East Pacific Rise (EPR) 15 million years ago during an episode of superfast rate ocean spreading in excess of 200 mm/yr. Past deep drilling of intact ocean crust has been fraught with difficulties due to the highly fractured nature of oceanic lavas. Site 1256 was specifically chosen because the observed relationship between spreading rate and the depth to axial seismic low velocity zones at modern mid-ocean ridges (thought to be magma chambers), suggests that gabbroic rocks should occur at the shallowest levels in ocean crust formed at the highest spreading rates. In line with pre-drilling predictions, gabbroic rocks were first encountered 1157 m into the basement. Hole 1256D penetrates 754 m of lavas, a 57-m thick transition zone and a thin (346 m) sheeted dike complex. The lower ~60 m of the sheeted dikes are contact metamorphosed to granoblastic textures. After encountering gabbros the hole was deepened a further 100 m before the cessation of drilling operations and the plutonic section comprises two gabbroic sills, 52 and 24 m-thick, intruded into a 24 m screen of granoblastic dikes. The gabbro sills have chilled margins and compositions similar to the overlying lavas and dikes, precluding formation of the cumulate lower oceanic crust from the melt lenses so far penetrated by Hole 1256D. A vertical seismic experiment conducted in Hole 1256D indicates that the bottom of the Hole is still within seismic layer 2 despite gabbroic rocks having been recovered. These data together with 1-D and imaging wire-line logs, have been used to construct a continuous volcano-stratigraphy for Site 1256. Comparison of this data with the recovered cores and the styles of eruption occurring at the modern EPR indicate that ~50% of lava sequences were formed

  8. Alteration of ocean crust provides a strong temperature dependent feedback on the geological carbon cycle and is a primary driver of the Sr-isotopic composition of seawater

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Coogan, Laurence A.; Dosso, Stan E.

    2015-04-01

    On geological timescales there is a temperature dependent feedback that means that increased degassing of CO2 into the atmosphere leads to increased CO2 drawdown into rocks stabilizing Earth's climate. It is widely considered that this thermostat largely comes from continental chemical weathering. An alternative, or additional, feedback comes from dissolution of seafloor basalt in low-temperature (tens of °C), off-axis, hydrothermal systems. Carbonate minerals precipitated in these systems provide strong evidence that increased bottom water temperature (traced by their O-isotopic compositions) leads to increased basalt dissolution (traced by their Sr-isotopic compositions). Inversion of a simple probabilistic model of fluid-rock interaction allows us to determine the apparent activation energy of rock dissolution in these systems. The high value we find (92 ± 7 kJmol-1) indicates a strong temperature dependence of rock dissolution. Because deep-ocean temperature is sensitive to global climate, and the fluid temperature in the upper oceanic crust is strongly influenced by bottom water temperature, increased global temperature must lead to increased basalt dissolution. In turn, through the generation of alkalinity by rock dissolution, this leads to a negative feedback on planetary warming; i.e. off-axis, hydrothermal systems play an important role in the planetary thermostat. Changes in the extent of rock dissolution, due to changes in bottom water temperature, also lead to changes in the flux of unradiogenic Sr into the ocean. The decreased flux of unradiogenic Sr into the ocean due to the cooling of ocean bottom water over the last 35 Myr is sufficient to explain most of the increase in seawater 87Sr/86Sr over this time.

  9. Intermediate crust (IC); its construction at continent edges, distinctive epeirogenic behaviour and identification as sedimentary basins within continents: new light on pre-oceanic plate motions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Osmaston, Miles F.

    2014-05-01

    Introduction. The plate tectonics paradigm currently posits that the Earth has only two kinds of crust - continental and oceanic - and that the former may be stretched to form sedimentary basins or the latter may be modified by arc or collision until it looks continental. But global analysis of the dynamics of actual plate motions for the past 150 Ma indicates [1 - 3] that continental tectospheres must be immensely thicker and rheologically stiffer than previously thought; almost certainly too thick to be stretched with the forces available. In the extreme case of cratons, these tectospheric keels evidently extend to 600 km or more [2, 3]. This thick-plate behaviour is attributable, not to cooling but to a petrological 'stiffening' effect, associated with a loss of water-weakening of the mineral crystals, which also applies to the hitherto supposedly mobile LVZ below MORs [4, 5]. The corresponding thick-plate version of the mid-ocean ridge (MOR) process [6 - 8], replacing the divergent mantle flow model, has a deep, narrow wall-accreting axial crack which not only provides the seismic anisotropy beneath the flanks but also brings two outstanding additional benefits:- (i) why, at medium to fast spreading rates, MOR axes become straight and orthogonally segmented [6], (ii) not being driven by body forces, it can achieve the sudden jumps of axis, spreading-rate and direction widely present in the ocean-floor record. Furthermore, as we will illustrate, the crack walls push themselves apart at depth by a thermodynamic mechanism, so the plates are not being pulled apart. So the presence of this process at a continental edge would not imply the application of extensional force to the margin. Intermediate Crust (IC). In seeking to resolve the paradox that superficially extensional structures are often seen at margins we will first consider how this MOR process would be affected by the heavy concurrent sedimentation to be expected when splitting a mature continent. I reason

  10. Preliminary Results from Downhole Osmotic Samplers in a Gas Tracer Injection Experiment in the Upper Oceanic Crust on the Eastern Flank of the Juan de Fuca Ridge.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    de Jong, M. T.; Clark, J. F.; Neira, N. M.; Fisher, A. T.; Wheat, C. G.

    2015-12-01

    We present results from a gas tracer injection experiment in the ocean crust on the eastern flank of the Juan de Fuca Ridge, in an area of hydrothermal circulation. Sulfur hexafluoride (SF6) tracer was injected in Hole 1362B in 2010, during IODP Expedition 327. Fluid samples were subsequently collected from a borehole observatory (CORK) installed in this hole and similar CORKs in three additional holes (1026B, 1362A, and 1301A), located 300 to 500 m away. This array of holes is located on 3.5 My old seafloor, as an array oriented subparallel to the Endeavor Segment of Juan de Fuca Ridge. Borehole fluid samples were collected in copper coils using osmotic pumps. In addition to pumps at seafloor wellheads, downhole sampling pumps were installed in the perforated casing in the upper ocean crust. These downhole samplers were intended to produce a high-resolution continuous record of tracer concentrations, including records from the first year after tracer injection in Holes 1362A and 1362B. In contrast, wellhead samplers were not installed on these CORKs holes until 2011, and wellhead records from all CORKs have a record gap of up to one year, because of a delayed expedition in 2012. The downhole samples were recovered with the submersible Alvin in August 2014. SF6 concentrations in downhole samples recovered in 2014 are generally consistent with data obtained from wellhead samples. Of particular interest are the results from Hole 1362B, where a seafloor valve was opened and closed during various recovery expeditions. High resolution tracer curves produced from the 1362B downhole samples confirm that these operations produced an SF6 breakthrough curve corresponding to a classic push-pull test used to evaluate contaminant field locations in terrestrial setting. Complete analyses of downhole samples from these CORKs are expected to produce high-resolution breakthrough curves that will allow more precise analysis and modeling of hydrothermal flow in the study area.

  11. Age estimates of the seaward-dipping volcanic wedge, earliest oceanic crust, and earliest drift-stage sediments along the North American Atlantic continental margin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Benson, Richard N.

    Owing to their depths of burial along and adjacent to the North American continental margin, there is no direct evidence obtained from boreholes for the ages of the seaward-dipping volcanic wedge, earliest drift-stage sediments overlying the wedge, and the earliest Atlantic oceanic crust between the East Coast (ECMA) and Blake Spur (BSMA) magnetic anomalies. Maximum ages of late Sinemurian for drift-stage sediments have been determined from exploration wells in the Scotian Basin. A similar age is postulated for those sediments in the Georges Bank Basin, but palynomorphs from exploration wells may indicate that earliest drift-stage sediments, in places associated with volcanic rocks, are of Bajocian age and occur higher in the section above the postrift unconformity as recognized on seismic lines. In the Southeast Georgia Embayment of the Blake Plateau Basin, the oldest drift-stage sediments overlying the postrift unconformity that were drilled are of Kimmeridgian-Tithonian age. In the Baltimore Canyon Trough, the volcanic wedge overlies the postrift unconformity which truncates buried synrift rocks that may be as young as Sinemurian. In the Carolina Trough and Blake Plateau Basin, a possible offshore flood basalt marking the postrift unconformity and traced as a reflector to the volcanic wedge may correspond to a subsurface flood basalt onshore that may be part of CAMP (Hettangian). Alternatively, its magmatic source may have been that of the possibly younger volcanic wedge. Sea-floor-spreading-rate lines based on the latest Jurassic time scales and extended to the BSMA and ECMA indicate ages of 166 and 171 Ma for the BSMA and 172 and 179 Ma for the ECMA. An alternative model suggests a middle Pliensbachian/early Toarcian age (188-190 Ma) for the igneous activity that produced the volcanic wedge and earliest oceanic crust.

  12. Carbonatization of oceanic crust by the seafloor hydrothermal activity and its significance as a CO2 sink in the Early Archean1

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nakamura, Kentaro; Kato, Yasuhiro

    2004-11-01

    Early Archean (3.46 Ga) hydrothermally altered basaltic rocks exposed near Marble Bar, eastern Pilbara Craton, have been studied in order to reveal geological and geochemical natures of seafloor hydrothermal carbonatization and to estimate the CO 2 flux sunk into the altered oceanic crust by the carbonatization. The basaltic rocks are divided into basalt and dolerite, and the basalt is further subdivided into type I, having original igneous rock textures, and type II, lacking these textures due to strong hydrothermal alteration. Primary clinopyroxene phenocrysts are preserved in some part of the dolerite samples, and the alteration mineral assemblage of dolerite (chlorite + epidote + albite + quartz ± actinolite) indicates that the alteration condition was typical greenschist facies. In other samples, all primary minerals were completely replaced by secondary minerals, and the alteration mineral assemblage of the type I and type II basalts (chlorite + K-mica + quartz + carbonate minerals ± albite) is characterized by the presence of K-mica and carbonate minerals and the absence of Ca-Al silicate minerals such as epidote and actinolite, suggesting the alteration condition of high CO 2 fugacity. The difference of the alteration mineral assemblages between basalt and dolerite is probably attributed to the difference of water/rock ratio that, in turn, depends on their porosity. Carbonate minerals in the carbonatized basalt include calcite, ankerite, and siderite, but calcite is quite dominant. The δ 13C values of the carbonate minerals are -0.3 ± 1.2‰ and mostly within the range of marine carbonate, indicating that the carbonate minerals were formed by seafloor hydrothermal alteration and that carbonate carbon in the altered basalt was derived from seawater. Whole-rock chemical composition of the basaltic rocks is essentially similar to that of modern mid-ocean ridge basalt (MORB) except for highly mobile elements such as K 2O, Rb, Sr, and Ba. Compared to the

  13. Multiple-scale hydrothermal circulation in 135 Ma oceanic crust of the Japan Trench outer rise: Numerical models constrained with heat flow observations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ray, Labani; Kawada, Yoshifumi; Hamamoto, Hideki; Yamano, Makoto

    2015-09-01

    Anomalous high heat flow is observed within 150 km seaward of the trench axis at the Japan Trench offshore of Sanriku, where the old Pacific Plate (˜135 Ma) is subducting. Individual heat flow values range between 42 and 114 mW m-2, with an average of ˜70 mW m-2. These values are higher than those expected from the seafloor age based on thermal models of the oceanic plate, i.e., ˜50 mW m-2. The heat flow exhibits spatial variations at multiple scales: regional high average heat flow (˜100 km) and smaller-scale heat flow peaks (˜1 km). We found that hydrothermal mining of heat from depth due to gradual thickening of an aquifer in the oceanic crust toward the trench axis can yield elevated heat flow of the spatial scale of ˜100 km. Topographic effects combined with hydrothermal circulation may account for the observed smaller-scale heat flow variations. Hydrothermal circulation in high-permeability faults may result in heat flow peaks of a subkilometer spatial scale. Volcanic intrusions are unlikely to be a major source of heat flow variations at any scale because of limited occurrence of young volcanoes in the study area. Hydrothermal heat transport may work at various scales on outer rises of other subduction zones as well, since fractures and faults have been well developed due to bending of the incoming plate.

  14. Two stage melt-rock interaction in the lower oceanic crust of the Parece Vela basin (Philippine sea), evidence from the primitive troctolites from the Godzilla Megamullion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sanfilippo, A.; Dick, H. J.; Ohara, Y.

    2011-12-01

    Godzilla Megamullion is a giant oceanic core complex exposed in an extinct slow- to intermediate-spreading segment of the Parece Vela Basin (Philippine sea) [1; 2]. It exposes lower crust and mantle rocks on the sea-floor, offering a unique opportunity to unravel the architecture and the composition of the lower oceanic lithosphere of an extinct back arc basin. Here we present data on primitive troctolites and associated olivine-gabbros from the breakaway area of the Godzilla Megamullion. On the basis of the olivine/plagioclase volume ratio, the troctolites are subdivided into Ol-troctolites (Ol/Pl >1) and Pl-troctolites (Ol/Pl<1), which show evident textural differences. Ol-troctolites have rounded to polygonal olivine, subhedral plagioclase, and poikilitic clinopyroxene. This texture suggests chemical disequilibrium between the olivine and a melt crystallizing plagioclase and clinopyroxene. We interpret these rocks as reaction products of a dunite matrix with transient basaltic melts [e.g. 3; 4]. Pl-troctolites have euhedral plagioclase and poikilitic olivine and clinopyroxene. Irregular shapes and inverse zoning of the plagioclase chadacrysts within the olivine indicate disequilibrium between existing plagioclase and an olivine-clinopyroxene saturated melt. The occurrence of plagioclase chadacrysts within clinopyroxene ranging from irregular to euhedral in shape suggests crystallization of new lower-Na plagioclase with the clinopyroxene. Olivine oikocrysts in the Pl-troctolites have low-NiO olivine in equilibrium with a high-MgO melt. The Pl-troctolites, then, may be the product of reaction between a plagioclase cumulate and a basaltic melt produced by mixing the high-MgO melt residual to the formation of the Ol-troctolites with new magma. The effect of melt-rock reaction in the Pl- and Ol- troctolites explains the sharp decrease in plagioclase An with respect to Mg# in clinopyroxene and olivine. Furthermore, the melt is shifted towards lower Na, which is

  15. Channelling of hydrothermal fluids during the accretion and evolution of the upper oceanic crust: Sr isotope evidence from ODP Hole 1256D

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Harris, Michelle; Coggon, Rosalind M.; Smith-Duque, Christopher E.; Cooper, Matthew J.; Milton, James A.; Teagle, Damon A. H.

    2015-04-01

    ODP Hole 1256D in the eastern equatorial Pacific is the first penetration of a complete section of fast spread ocean crust down to the dike-gabbro transition, and only the second borehole to sample in situ sheeted dikes after DSDP Hole 504B. Here a high spatial resolution record of whole rock and mineral strontium isotopic compositions from Site 1256 is combined with core observations and downhole wireline geophysical measurements to determine the extent of basalt-hydrothermal fluid reaction and to identify fluid pathways at different levels in the upper ocean crust. The volcanic sequence at Site 1256 is dominated by sheet and massive lava flows but the Sr isotope profile shows only limited exchange with seawater. However, the upper margins of two anomalously thick (>25 m) massive flow sequences are strongly hydrothermally altered with elevated Sr isotope ratios and appear to be conduits of lateral low-temperature off-axis fluid flow. Elsewhere in the lavas, high 87Sr/86Sr are restricted to breccia horizons. Mineralised hyaloclastic breccias in the Lava-Dike Transition are strongly altered to Mg-saponite, silica and pyrite, indicating alteration by mixed seawater and cooled hydrothermal fluids. In the Sheeted Dike Complex 87Sr/86Sr ratios are pervasively shifted towards hydrothermal fluid values (∼0.705). Dike chilled margins display secondary mineral assemblages formed during both axial recharge and discharge and have higher 87Sr/86Sr than dike cores, indicating preferential fluid flow along dike margins. Localised increases in 87Sr/86Sr in the Dike-Gabbro Transition indicates the channelling of fluids along the sub-horizontal intrusive boundaries of the 25 to 50 m-thick gabbroic intrusions, with only minor increases in 87Sr/86Sr within the cores of the gabbro bodies. When compared to the pillow lava-dominated section from Hole 504B, the Sr isotope measurements from Site 1256 suggest that the extent of hydrothermal circulation in the upper ocean crust may be

  16. Modes and implications of mantle and lower-crust denudation at slow-spreading mid-ocean ridges

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schroeder, Timothy John

    Slow-spreading mid-ocean ridges (<5 cm/yr) have intermittent magma supply, and accommodate spreading by a combination of magmatism and tectonic extension (Smith and Cann, 1993, Cannat, 1993). Extension at mid-ocean ridges is most commonly manifested by slip on high angle (˜60°) normal faults that dip into, and define the rift valley walls (Smith and Cann, 1993). Less commonly, extension occurs by long periods of slip along low-angle normal faults that penetrate to structurally deep levels of oceanic lithosphere and denude gabbro and/or pendotite to the seafloor in domal massifs termed "oceanic core complexes" (Dick et al., 1981; Dick et al., 1991; Tucholke et al., 1998; Mutter and Karson, 1992; Cann et al., 1997; MacLeod et al., 2002). This dissertation addresses processes and implications of tectonic extension at two oceanic core complexes. Atlantis Massif (30°N, Mid-Atlantic Ridge) is formed dominantly of serpentinized peridotite with lesser gabbro, and Atlantis Bank (57°E, Southwest Indian Ridge) is dominated by gabbro. Localization of brittle strain at Atlantis Massif occurred by reaction-softening processes associated with metasomatic alteration of peridotite and serpentmite to amphibole-, chlorite- and talc-bearing assemblages. Ductile strain at Atlantis Massif and Atlantis Bank is localized into intervals of highly-fractionated, oxide-rich gabbro. Two-oxide geothermometry of gabbro indicates that it was not penetratively deformed below ˜500°C. Denuded peridotite at Atlantis Massif is host to hydrothermal circulation driven in part by exothermic serpentinization reactions. Serpentinization decreases the seismic velocity of peridotite and leads to acquisition of a magnetic signature. Venting of highly-alkaline, methane- and hydrogen-rich serpentinization-derived fluids leads to lithification of seafloor carbonate ooze by precipitation of carbonate cement in a zone of mixing with "normal" seawater. This process may be the primary depositional mechanism of

  17. Evidence for silicic crust formation in an incipient stage of intra-oceanic subduction zone: discovery of deep crustal sections in Izu-Bonin forearc

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tani, K.; Shukuno, H.; Hirahara, Y.; Chang, Q.; Kimura, J.; Nichols, A. R.; Ishii, T.; Tatsumi, Y.; Dunkley, D. J.

    2009-12-01

    Recent research cruises surveying forearc slopes of Izu-Bonin-Mariana (IBM) arc have discovered outcrops representing the deep crustal section of the early IBM arc. Ongoing geochemcial, petrological, and geochronological studies of recovered rocks are providing new insights into the magmatism and development of arc crust during the inception of an intra-oceanic subduction system. ROV traverses, conducted at the northern Izu-Bonin forearc, discovered peridotite exposures from deep (~7000 mbsl) sections, and observed a drastic shift in lithofacies towards the upper sections (~5000 mbsl), from gabbro, through dolerite, porphyrite, tonalite, and finally volcanic breccia and sedimentary rocks. This indicates that the traverses covered a full arc crust section from uppermost mantle to upper crust. The gabbroic and doleritic rocks show geochemical signatures (e.g. LREE-depletion and low-Ba/La) similar to those of N-MORB, with minimum arc signatures (e.g. Nb-depletion and LILE-enrichment). The results from zircon and titanite U-Pb geochronology show that this MORB-like basaltic magmatism was episodically active ~52 Ma, predating the boninitic magmatism broadly exposed in the uppermost section of forearc slope, which began ~49 Ma (Ishizuka et al., 2006) and previously considered to be the first magmatism in IBM arc. The collected peridotite samples were mostly dunite and harzburgite, and show variable degrees of serpentinization. Compositions of Cr-spinel and olivine, and the calculated oxygen fugacity indicate that these peridotite samples probably coexisted with MORB-type magma rather than the boninitic or island-arc basaltic magmas. Massive outcrops of tonalitic rocks and associated dacitic-rhyolitic prophyrites were discovered in one of the surveyed area, underlain by gabbro and dolerite with MORB-like geochemical signatures. Tonalitic rocks, weakly-foliated hornblende tonalites, are continuously exposed in a ~300 m-high wall in the middle section of the forearc slope

  18. Geochemistry of gabbros and basaltic dykes from the upper/lower oceanic crust boundary: New data from IODP Expedition 335 (ODP Site 1256, Cocos Plate)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Godard, M.; Adachi, Y.; Miyashita, S.; Kurz, M. D.; Roy, P.

    2012-12-01

    ODP Hole 1256D (Cocos plate), a borehole in a 15 m.y old oceanic crust formed at a superfast spreading ridge, was deepened down to 1521.6 meters below seafloor (mbsf) during IODP Expedition 335. The lower part of the borehole (>1340 mbsf) crosscuts a series of variably altered lithologies interpreted as marking the transition from upper to lower crust (top to bottom): basaltic sheeted then granoblastic dykes, a ~50 m gabbro screen (Gabbro 1), a ~20 m interval of granoblastic dykes (Dyke Screen 1), a ~20 m gabbro screen (Gabbro 2) then a second interval of granoblastic dykes. We present the results of an XRF and ICPMS study performed on 3 cored granoblastic dikes from this last interval, and on a basalt, 5 granoblastic dikes and two gabbroic rocks retrieved during junk basket runs during Expedition 335. The basalt and granoblastic dikes have MORB type compositions similar to that of the variably altered basalt samples and granoblastic dikes cored during the previous expeditions at Hole 1256D. Expedition 335 granoblastic dikes are characterized by their depletion in lithophile trace elements (Yb~2-3 ppm) similar to those of the granoblastic dikes cored below Gabbro 2, which represent the most depleted end-member of the basaltic dikes previously found at Site 1256 (Yb~2.5-6 ppm). We interpret this signature as evidence that the Expedition 335 granoblastic dikes come from the bottom of Hole 1256D (at Gabbro 2 lower interface and below) rather than from shallower levels. The two gabbros (olivine gabbronorite and olivine gabbro) have high LOI indicating that they were more affected by low temperature hydration processes than the neighboring granoblastic dikes. Their composition is similar to that of the less evolved end-members of the gabbroic rock suite previously sampled at Hole 1256D, which were found in the Gabbro 1 interval. They have relatively high Mg# (70-72) and Ni (200-280 ppm), reflecting their modal olivine content. Although they are slightly depleted

  19. The role of mantle temperature and lithospheric thickness during initial oceanic crust production: numerical modelling constraints from the southern South Atlantic

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Taposeea, C.; Armitage, J. J.; Collier, J.

    2015-12-01

    Evidence from seaward dipping reflector distributions has recently suggested that segmentation plays a major role in the pattern of volcanism during breakup, particularly in the South Atlantic. At a larger scale, variations in mantle temperature and lithosphere thickness can enhance or reduce volcanism. To understand what generates along strike variation of volcanism at conjugate margins, we measure the thickness of earliest oceanic crust in the South Atlantic, south of the Walvis and Rio Grande ridges. We use data from 29 published wide-angle and multichannel seismic profiles and at least 14 unpublished multichannel seismic profiles. A strong linear trend between initial oceanic crustal thickness and distance from hotspot centres, defined as the commencement of Walvis and Rio Grande ridges, with a regression coefficient of 0.7, is observed. At 450km south of the Walvis Ridge, earliest oceanic crustal thickness is found to be 11.7km. This reduces to 7.0km in the south at a distance of 1,420km. Such a linear trend suggests rift segmentation plays a secondary role on volcanism during breakup. To explore the cause of this trend, we use a 2D numerical model of extension capable of predicting the volume and composition of melt generated by decompressional melting during extension to steady state seafloor spreading. We explore the effect of both mantle temperature and lithosphere thickness on melt production with a thermal anomaly (hot layer) 100km thick located below the lithosphere with an excess temperature of 50-200°C, and lithospheric thickness ranging from 125-140km, covering the thickness range estimated from tomographic studies. By focusing on a set of key seismic profiles, we show a reduction in hot layer temperature is needed in order to match observed oceanic crustal thickness, even when the effect of north to south variations in lithosphere thickness are included. This model implies that the observed oceanic thickness requires the influence of a hot layer up

  20. Preliminary Results from a Gas Tracer Injection Experiment in the Upper Oceanic Crust on the Eastern Flank of the Juan de Fuca Ridge

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Neira, N. M.; Clark, J. F.; Fisher, A. T.; Wheat, C. G.

    2013-12-01

    We present the first results from a gas tracer injection experiment in the ocean crust on the eastern flank of the Juan de Fuca Ridge, in an area of vigorous hydrothermal circulation. A mixture of tracers was injected in Hole 1362B in 2010, during IODP Expedition 327, as part of a 24-hour pumping experiment. Fluid samples were subsequently collected from this hole and three additional holes (1026B, 1362A, and 1301A), located 300 to 500 m away. The array of holes is located on 3.5 M.y. old seafloor, and oriented N20°E, subparallel to the Endeavor Segment of Juan de Fuca Ridge, 100 km to the west. Sulfur hexafluoride (SF6) was injected at a concentration of 0.0192 mol/min, with fluid pumping rate of 6.7 L/s for 20.2 h, resulting in a mean concentration of 47.6 μM and 23.3 mol of SF6 being added to crustal fluids. Borehole fluid samples were collected in copper coils using osmotic pumps attached to the wellheads of several long-term, subseafloor observatories (CORKs). These samples were recovered from the seafloor using a remotely-operated vehicle in 2011 and 2013. Analyses of SF6 concentrations in samples recovered in 2011 indicate the first arrival of SF6 in Hole 1301A, 550 m south of the injection Hole 1362B, ~265 days after injection. This suggests that the most rapid lateral transport of gas (at the leading edge of the plume) occurred at ~2 m/day. Samples recovered in 2013 should provide a more complete breakthrough curve, allowing assessment of the mean lateral transport rate. Additional insights will come from analysis of metal salts and particle tracers injected contemporaneously with the SF6, the cross-hole pressure response to injection and a two-year fluid discharge experiment. Additional wellhead samples will be collected in Summer 2014, as will downhole osmosamplers deployed in perforated casing within the upper ocean crust in Holes 1362A and 1362B.

  1. The Archean Dongwanzi ophiolite complex, North China craton: 2.505-billion-year-old oceanic crust and mantle.

    PubMed

    Kusky, T M; Li, J H; Tucker, R D

    2001-05-11

    We report a thick, laterally extensive 2505 +/- 2.2-million-year-old (uranium-lead ratio in zircon) Archean ophiolite complex in the North China craton. Basal harzburgite tectonite is overlain by cumulate ultramafic rocks, a mafic-ultramafic transition zone of interlayered gabbro and ultramafic cumulates, compositionally layered olivine-gabbro and pyroxenite, and isotropic gabbro. A sheeted dike complex is rooted in the gabbro and overlain by a mixed dike-pillow lava section, chert, and banded iron formation. The documentation of a complete Archean ophiolite implies that mechanisms of oceanic crustal accretion similar to those of today were in operation by 2.5 billion years ago at divergent plate margins and that the temperature of the early mantle was not extremely elevated, as compared to the present-day temperature. Plate tectonic processes similar to those of the present must also have emplaced the ophiolite in a convergent margin setting. PMID:11349144

  2. Methane-generated( ) pockmarks on young, thickly sedimented oceanic crust in the Arctic. Vestnesa ridge, Fram strait

    SciTech Connect

    Vogt, P.R.; Crane, K. ); Sundvor, E. ); Max, M.D. ); Pfirman, S.L. )

    1994-03-01

    Acoustic backscatter imagery in the Farm strait (between Greenland and Spitzbergen) reveals a 1-3-km-wide, 50-km-long belt of -50 pointlike backscatter objects decorating the -1300-m-deep crest of Vestnesa Ridge, a 1 [minus]> 2 km thick sediment drift possibly underlain by a transform-parallel oceanic basement ridge (crustal ages approximately 3-14 Ma). A 3.5 kHz seismic-reflection profile indicates that at least some objects are pockmarks approximately 100-200 m in diameter and 10-20 m deep. The pockmarks (possibly also mud dipairs) may have been formed by evolution of methane generated by the decomposition of marine organic matter in the Vestnesa ridge sediment drift. The ridge may be underlain by an anticlinical carapace of methane-hydrate calculated to be 200-300 m thick, comparable to the hydrate thickness measured just to the south. The rising methane would collect in the ridge-crest trap, intermittently escaping to the sea floor. This hypothesis is supported by multichannel evidence for bright spots and bottom-simulating reflectors in the area. The pockmark belt may also be located above a transcurrent fault. Sediment slumps on the flanks of Vestnesa ridge and northeast of Molloy ridge may have been triggered by plate-boundary earthquakes and facilitated by methane hydrates. 11 refs., 4 figs.

  3. Recycling of oceanic crust from a stagnant slab in the mantle transition zone: Evidence from Cenozoic continental basalts in Zhejiang Province, SE China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Yan-Qing; Ma, Chang-Qian; Robinson, Paul T.; Zhou, Qin; Liu, Ming-Liang

    2015-08-01

    Cenozoic continental basalts from Zhejiang Province, southeast China are tholeiitic to weakly alkalic in composition, with moderate MgO contents (6-11 wt.%) and an average Mg# of 62. They display typical OIB-like trace element features, including enrichment in most incompatible elements, both LILE and LREE, and negative K, Pb, Zr, Hf anomalies. In particular, they are characterized by high Fe/Mn (73 ± 5), La/Yb (19 ± 6) and Nb/Ta (18.8 ± 0.4) ratios, which can be attributed to the presence of residual clinopyroxene, garnet and rutile in the mantle source. Based on these minerals, the following hybrid source rocks are hypothesized: garnet pyroxenite/eclogite and peridotite. Clinopyroxene-liquid thermobarometry indicates clinopyroxene crystallization temperatures of > 1257 °C. This is higher than the assumed temperature at the base of the sub-continental lithospheric mantle (SCLM) (~ 1220 °C) beneath Zhejiang, thus the magmas were presumably derived from the asthenosphere. Some typical geochemical features such as negative K, Pb anomalies, positive Ba, Sr, Nb, Ta anomalies and the extremely high Os isotopic signatures, suggest participation of EM-like mantle sources, indicative of ancient subducted oceanic crust. (87Sr/86Sr)i (0.7037-0.7046) and 143Nd/144Nd (0.512832-0.512990) isotope ratios point to the presence of mixed components in the source region, i.e., DMM, EM1 and EM2. Recent seismic tomographic images of the mantle beneath Zhejiang suggest the presence of a subducted slab of oceanic lithosphere in the transition zone. Based on the combined geophysical and geochemical evidence, we propose that the major source of the Zhejiang basaltic magmas was the ancient subducted oceanic slab in the transition zone with an EM-like signature. The other magma sources include depleted asthenospheric peridotite possessing a DMM-like signature. The dynamics of this upwelling hybrid magma was apparently related to westward subduction of the Pacific plate underneath the

  4. Microstructures and petro-fabrics of lawsonite blueschist in the North Qilian suture zone, NW China: Implications for seismic anisotropy of subducting oceanic crust

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cao, Yi; Jung, Haemyeong; Song, Shuguang

    2014-07-01

    We conducted a detailed study on the microstructures and petro-fabrics of massive and foliated lawsonite blueschist (LBS) in North Qilian suture zone, NW China. The lattice preferred orientation (LPO) of glaucophane and lawsonite in foliated lawsonite blueschist (LBS) is considered to be dominantly formed by the deformation mechanism of dislocation creep and rigid-body rotation, respectively. The LPO of glaucophane is mainly characterized by the [001] axis aligning parallel to lineation and the [100] axis and (110) pole plunging perpendicular to foliation. In contrast, the LPO of lawsonite features the maximum [010] axis concentrated close to lineation and the [001] axis strongly clustered normal to foliation. The preferred orientation of [010] axis of lawsonite parallel to lineation is supported by a two-dimensional numerical modeling using the finite-volume method (FVM). The mineral LPOs are much stronger in foliated LBS than in massive LBS. In addition, a kinematic vorticity analysis suggests that both pure shear dominant (Wm = 0.18-0.26) and simple shear dominant (Wm = 0.86-0.93) deformation regimes are present in foliated LBS. The [001] axis and (010) pole of glaucophane, and the [100] and [010] axes of lawsonite, tend to distribute in a foliation-parallel girdle in the pure shear dominant samples, but simple shear dominant samples display more lineation-parallel concentrations of a [001] axis of glaucophane and a [010] axis of lawsonite. Because the whole-rock seismic anisotropies in foliated LBS are significantly higher than those in massive LBS and a counteracting effect on seismic anisotropies occurs between glaucophane and lawsonite, the delay time of fast S-wave polarization anisotropy induced by an actual subducting oceanic crust with a high subducting angle (> 45-60°) is expected to range from 0.03 to 0.09 s (lower bound for massive LBS) and from 0.1 to 0.3 s (upper bound for foliated epidote blueschist).

  5. Recycled oceanic crust and marine sediment in the source of alkali basalts in Shandong, eastern China: Evidence from magma water content and oxygen isotopes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, Jia; Xia, Qun-Ke; Deloule, Etienne; Chen, Huan; Feng, Min

    2015-12-01

    The magma water contents and cpx δ18O values in alkali basalts from the Fuyanyshan (FYS) volcano in Shandong, eastern China, were investigated by an inverse calculation based on the water content of clinopyroxene (cpx) phenocrysts, the ivAlcpx-dependent water partitioning coefficient Dwatercpx>/melt, and secondary ion mass spectrometer, respectively. The calculated water content (H2O wt.) of magma ranges from 0.58% to 3.89%. It positively correlates with heavy rare earth element concentrations and bulk rock 87Sr/86Sr ratios, and it negatively correlates with Nb/U ratios. However, it is not correlated with bulk Mg# (Mg# = 100 × Mg / (Mg + Fe)) and (La/Yb)n (n represents primitive mantle normalization). Combined with the rather homogenous distribution of water content within cpx grains, these correlations indicate that the water variations among different samples represent the original magma signature, rather than results of a shallow process, such as degassing and diffusion. The δ18O of cpx phenocrysts varies from 3.6‰ to 6.3‰ (±0.5‰, 2SD), which may be best explained by the involvement of components from the lower and upper oceanic crust with marine sediments within the mantle source. The H2O/Ce ratios of the calculated melts range from 113 to 696 and form a positive trend with bulk rock 87Sr/86Sr, which cannot be explained by the recycled Sulu eclogite or by the metasomatized lithospheric mantle. Our modeling calculation shows that the decoupling of ɛHf and ɛNd could be caused by the involvement of marine sediments. Combing the high Ba/Th ratios, positive Sr spikes, and low Ce/Pb ratios for the Fuyanshan basalts, we suggest that the hydrous nature of the FYS basalts was derived from the hydrous mantle transition zone with ancient sediments.

  6. Devonian Nb-enriched basalts and andesites of north-central Tibet: Evidence for the early subduction of the Paleo-Tethyan oceanic crust beneath the North Qiangtang Block

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Hongrui; Yang, Tiannan; Hou, Zengqian; Bian, Yeke

    2016-07-01

    The early evolution of the Tethyan Ocean in north-central Tibet is currently poorly constrained. A sequence of volcanic rocks ranging from basic to intermediate in composition has been identified in the Zaduo area of the North Qiangtang Block. SHRIMP U-Pb dating of zircons from a sample of Zaduo andesite suggests an eruption age of Late Devonian (~ 380 Ma). The Zaduo volcanic rocks exhibit geochemical characteristics similar to those of typical Nb-enriched basalts, with relatively high Nb, Ta, and Zr contents, resulting in high Nb/La ratios (0.70-1.08) and Nb/U ratios (10.57-34.37). The relative enrichment in high field strength elements, together with positive εNd(t) values of + 4.6 to + 5.8 and low (87Sr/86Sr)i ratios of 0.70367-0.70532, indicates the Zaduo volcanic rocks were derived from a depleted mantle source metasomatized by silicate melts of a subducted oceanic slab. The occurrence of Nb-enriched volcanic rocks in the North Qiangtang Block suggests that the subduction of Paleo-Tethyan oceanic crust was initiated in the Late Devonian. Available geochronological data from ophiolites surrounding the North Qiangtang Block suggest that the subducted slab is most likely the Longmucuo-Shuanghu Paleo-Tethyan oceanic crust.

  7. Nitrogen concentration and δ 15N of altered oceanic crust obtained on ODP Legs 129 and 185: Insights into alteration-related nitrogen enrichment and the nitrogen subduction budget

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Long; Bebout, Gray E.; Idleman, Bruce D.

    2007-05-01

    Knowledge of the subduction input flux of nitrogen (N) in altered oceanic crust (AOC) is critical in any attempt to mass-balance N across arc-trench systems on a global or individual-margin basis. We have employed sealed-tube, carrier-gas-based methods to examine the N concentrations and isotopic compositions of AOC. Analyses of 53 AOC samples recovered on DSDP/ODP legs from the North and South Pacific, the North Atlantic, and the Antarctic oceans (with larger numbers of samples from Site 801 outboard of the Mariana trench and Site 1149 outboard of the Izu trench), and 14 composites for the AOC sections at Site 801, give N concentrations of 1.3 to 18.2 ppm and δ 15N Air of -11.6‰ to +8.3‰, indicating significant N enrichment probably during the early stages of hydrothermal alteration of the oceanic basalts. The N-δ 15N modeling for samples from Sites 801 and 1149 ( n = 39) shows that the secondary N may come from (1) the sedimentary N in the intercalated sediments and possibly overlying sediments via fluid-sediment/rock interaction, and (2) degassed mantle N 2 in seawater via alteration-related abiotic reduction processes. For all Site 801 samples, weak correlation of N and K 2O contents indicates that the siting of N in potassic alteration phases strongly depends on N availability and is possibly influenced by highly heterogeneous temperature and redox conditions during hydrothermal alteration. The upper 470-m AOC recovered by ODP Legs 129 and 185 delivers approximately 8 × 10 5 g/km N annually into the Mariana margin. If the remaining less-altered oceanic crust (assuming 6.5 km, mostly dikes and gabbros) has MORB-like N of 1.5 ppm, the entire oceanic crust transfers 5.1 × 10 6 g/km N annually into that trench. This N input flux is twice as large as the annual N input of 2.5 × 10 6 g/km in seafloor sediments subducting into the same margin, demonstrating that the N input in oceanic crust, and its isotopic consequences, must be considered in any assessment

  8. The age of oceanic crust and of HP/LT-metamorphism on Syros (Cyclades, Greece) based on Lu-Hf geochronology and geochemistry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lagos, M.; Münker, C.; Tomaschek, F.; Ballhaus, C.; Scherer, E. E.

    2003-04-01

    The ages of protolith formation and high pressure metamorphism of blueschist facies rocks in the Cyclades (Greece) are not completely constrained because they rely largely on U-Pb zircon geochronology plus Rb-Sr, and Ar-Ar cooling ages rather than direct dating of the high pressure assemblage. To adress this question further, we examined a meta-igneous sequence, which occurs in a dismembered meta-ophiolite belt in northern Syros. The sequence was subjected to blueschist-eclogite facies metamorphism at pressures of 16 kbar and temperatures up to 480^oC and forms part of the Cycladic Lower Unit. All examined samples were taken from one coherent mélange block at the Grizzas locality, comprising a complete compositional spectrum from mafic to felsic. Lu-Hf dating of WR-Grt-Omph in two samples yields ages between 47 and 51 Ma, overlapping with U-Pb-SHRIMP ages of ca. 52 Ma that were obtained from metamorphic zircons [1]. Such zircons are frequently found as inclusions in peak metamorphic garnet. Hence, both Lu-Hf and U-Pb ages most likely date garnet growth and peak metamorphism on Syros because the closure temperature of Lu-Hf in Grt is probably above 540^oC [2]. Such temperatures were not reached during HP-metamorphism on Syros. Major and trace element patterns indicate that the protoliths of the examined sequence are cogenetic and related by fractional crystallization. ɛHf(t) at 80 Ma range from +12.4 to +13.8, consistent with inferences from trace element patterns that suggest deposition of the Grizzas metavolcanics in a back-arc environment. The 176Hf/177Hf and 176Lu/177Hf of 11 whole rock samples define an errorchrone of 63±37 Ma (2σ). The errorchrone provides an upper limit of 100 Ma for the protolith age of the Grizzas sequence, implying that the oceanic crust on Syros was formed in the Upper Cretaceous. There is an older zircon generation (ca. 80 Ma) in Grizzas [1] that displays grossly different trace element characteristics than the 50 Ma old population

  9. Behavior of Zn2+, Cd2+, Ba2+ and Pb2+ cations in ferromanganese crusts from the Marcus Wake seamount (Pacific Ocean) in aqueous solutions of metal salts

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Novikov, G. V.; Bogdanova, O. Yu.; Melnikov, M. E.; Lobus, N. V.; Drozdova, A. N.; Shulga, N. A.

    2016-01-01

    The behavior of heavy-metal cations in ore minerals of cobalt-rich ferromanganese crusts from the Marcus Wake seamount in aqueous solutions of metal salts was studied in experiments. The Zn2+ and Cd2+ cations showed high reactivity and Ba2+ and Pb2+ showed low reactivity. It was found that Zn2+ and Cd2+ cations within the ore mineral composition are mainly absorbed (up to 66%) whereas Pb2+ and Ba2+ are chemically bound (up to 70%). Ore minerals in the crusts are characterized by sorption properties and high ionexchange capacity by these cations (1.94-2.62 mg-equiv/g). The capacity values by heavy-metal cations for ore minerals of the crusts from different areas of the Marcus Wake seamount are close to each other.

  10. Anisotropy in the subducted oceanic crust and the overlying continental crust explain the existence of a double tectonic tremor zone in the flat portion of the Mexican subduction zone.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Husker, A. L.; Castillo, J. A.; Perez-Campos, X.; Frank, W.; Kostoglodov, V.

    2015-12-01

    Tectonic tremor (TT) in Mexico has a complicated behavior due to the shape of the subducted plate. In the flat section the slab dives from the trench to a depth of 40 km at 150 km from the trench where it turns to be flat. It remains at 40 km depth till about 290 - 300 km from the trench where it continues to steeply dive into the mantle. All TT activity is within the flat slab section. An LFE catalog and the vertically averaged shear wave anisotropy observed from receiver functions at the slab interface are used to divide the region into 4 zones. (1) The Transient Zone located at the corner of the slab when it first arrives at 40 km depth (~130 km - 165 km from the trench) where the majority of LFE's are seen in small bursts that produce TT. (2) The Buffer Zone has almost no LFE and is located ~165 km - 190 km from the trench. (3) The sub-Sweet Spot is located ~190 - 204 km from the trench and seems to share many characteristics of the Sweet Spot, but has less than half the LFE activity observed in the Sweet Spot in addition to different anisotropy. (4) The Sweet Spot has the overwhelming majority of LFE and is located ~204 km - 245 km from the trench. No LFE is found from 245 km to 300 km from the trench despite the plate still being at 40 km depth. The anisotropy percentage in the continental crust drops significantly above the Transient Zone and Sweet Spot suggesting the crust acts as a seal in those two zones permitting trapped fluids to generate TT/LFE activity there as has been observed in other zones. The Buffer Zone coincides with a region of high fluid flow in the crust (Jodicke et al., 2005) suggesting that there is no seal in this zone allowing fluids to escape thereby limiting TT/LFE generation. The convergence of the zone would imply that the anisotropy preferred orientation at the plate interface should be perpendicular to the trench as much of it is. However, the fast azimuth direction rotates to be trench parallel in the region of the large SSE

  11. Habitability Of Europa's Crust

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Greenberg, R.; Tufts, B. R.; Geissler, P.; Hoppa, G.

    Physical characterization of Europa's crust shows it to be rich in potentially habitable niches, with several timescales for change that would allow stability for organisms to prosper and still require and drive evolution and adaptation. Studies of tectonics on Europa indicate that tidal stress causes much of the surface cracking, that cracks pen- etrate through to liquid water (so the ice must be thin), and that cracks continue to be worked by tidal stress. Thus a global ocean is (or was until recently) well linked to the surface. Daily tidal flow (period~days) transports substances up and down through the active cracks, mixing surface oxidants and fuels (cometary material) with the oceanic reservoir of endogenic and exogenic substances. Organisms moving with the flow or anchored to the walls could exploit the disequilibrium chemistry, and those within a few meters of the surface could photosynthesize. Cracks remain active for at least ~10,000 yr, but deactivate as nonsynchronous rotation moves them to different stress regimes in less than a million yr. Thus, to survive, organisms squeezed into the ocean must migrate to new cracks, and those frozen in place must hibernate. Most sites remelt and would release captive organisms within about a million yr based on the prevalence of chaotic terrain, which covers nearly half of Europa. Linkage of the ocean to the surface also could help sustain life in the ocean by delivering oxidants and fuels. Suboceanic volcanism (if any) could provide additional sites and support for life, but is not necessary. Recent results support this model. We further constrain the non-synchronous rotation rate, demonstrate the plausibility of episodic melt-through, show that characteristics of pits and uplift features do not imply thick ice, and demonstrate polar wander, i.e. that the ice crust is detached from the solid interior and has slipped as a unit relative to the spin axis. Thus Europa's biosphere (habitable if not inhabited) likely

  12. Untangling Magmatic Processes and Hydrothermal Alteration of in situ Superfast Spreading Ocean Crust at ODP/IODP Site 1256 with Fuzzy c-means Cluster Analysis of Rock Magnetic Properties

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dekkers, M. J.; Heslop, D.; Herrero-Bervera, E.; Acton, G.; Krasa, D.

    2014-12-01

    Ocean Drilling Program (ODP)/Integrated ODP (IODP) Hole 1256D (6.44.1' N, 91.56.1' W) on the Cocos Plate occurs in 15.2 Ma oceanic crust generated by superfast seafloor spreading. Presently, it is the only drill hole that has sampled all three oceanic crust layers in a tectonically undisturbed setting. Here we interpret down-hole trends in several rock-magnetic parameters with fuzzy c-means cluster analysis, a multivariate statistical technique. The parameters include the magnetization ratio, the coercivity ratio, the coercive force, the low-field susceptibility, and the Curie temperature. By their combined, multivariate, analysis the effects of magmatic and hydrothermal processes can be evaluated. The optimal number of clusters - a key point in the analysis because there is no a priori information on this - was determined through a combination of approaches: by calculation of several cluster validity indices, by testing for coherent cluster distributions on non-linear-map plots, and importantly by testing for stability of the cluster solution from all possible starting points. Here, we consider a solution robust if the cluster allocation is independent of the starting configuration. The five-cluster solution appeared to be robust. Three clusters are distinguished in the extrusive segment of the Hole that express increasing hydrothermal alteration of the lavas. The sheeted dike and gabbro portions are characterized by two clusters, both with higher coercivities than in lava samples. Extensive alteration, however, can obliterate magnetic property differences between lavas, dikes, and gabbros. The imprint of thermochemical alteration on the iron-titanium oxides is only partially related to the porosity of the rocks. All clusters display rock magnetic characteristics in line with a stable NRM. This implies that the entire sampled sequence of ocean crust can contribute to marine magnetic anomalies. Determination of the absolute paleointensity with thermal techniques is

  13. Internal time marker (Q1) of the Cretaceous super chron in the Bay of Bengal - a new age constraint for the oceanic crust evolved between India and Elan Bank

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Krishna, K. S.; Ismaiel, M.; Karlapati, S.; Saha, D.; Mishra, J.

    2014-12-01

    Analysis of marine magnetic data of the Bay of Bengal (BOB) led to suggest two different tectonic models for the evolution of lithosphere between India and East Antarctica. The first model explains the presence of M-series (M11 to M0) magnetic anomalies in BOB with a small room leaving for accommodating the crust evolved during the long Cretaceous Magnetic Quiet Period. Second model explains in other way that most part of the crust in BOB was evolved during the quite period together with the possible presence of oldest magnetic chron M1/ M0 in close vicinity of ECMI. It is with this perspective we have reinvestigated the existing and recently acquired magnetic data together with regional magnetic model of BOB for identification of new tectonic constraints, thereby to better understand the evolution of lithosphere. Analysis of magnetic data revealed the presence of spreading anomalies C33 and C34 in the vicinity of 8°N, and internal time marker (Q1) corresponding to the age 92 Ma at 12°N in a corridor between 85°E and Ninetyeast ridges. The new time marker and its location, indeed, become a point of reference and benchmark in BOB for estimating the age of oceanic crust towards ECMI. The magnetic model further reveals the presence of network of fracture zones (FZs) with different orientations. Between 85°E and Ninetyeast ridges, two near N-S FZs, approximately followed 87°E and 89.5°E are found to extend into BOB up to 12°N, from there the FZs reorient in N60°W direction and reach to the continental margin region. Along ECMI two sets of FZs are identified with a northern set oriented in N60°W and southern one in N40°W direction. This suggests that both north and south segments of the ECMI were evolved in two different tectonic settings. The bend in FZs marks the timing (92 Ma) of occurrence of first major plate reorganisation of the Indian Ocean and becomes a very critical constraint for understanding the plate tectonic process in early opening of the

  14. Geochemistry of Fast-Spreading Lower Oceanic Crust: Results from Drilling at the Hess Deep Rift (ODP Leg 147 and IODP Expedition 345; East Pacific Rise)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Godard, M.; Falloon, T.; Gillis, K. M.; Akizawa, N.; de Brito Adriao, A.; Koepke, J.; Marks, N.; Meyer, R.; Saha, A.; Garbe-Schoenberg, C. D.

    2014-12-01

    The Hess Deep Rift, where the Cocos Nazca Ridge propagates into the young, fast-spread East Pacific Rise crust, exposes a dismembered, but nearly complete, lower crustal section. The extensive exposures of the plutonic crust were drilled at 3 sites during ODP Leg 147 (Nov. 1992-Jan. 1993) and IODP Expedition 345 (Dec. 2012-Feb. 2013). We report preliminary results of a bulk rock geochemical study (major and trace elements) carried out on 109 samples representative of the different drilled lithologies. The shallowest gabbroic rocks were sampled at ODP Site 894. They comprise gabbronorite, gabbro, olivine gabbro and gabbronorite. They have evolved compositions with Mg# 39-55, Yb 4-8 x chondrite and Eu/Eu* 1-1.6. Olivine gabbro and troctolite were dominant at IODP Site U1415, with minor gabbro, gabbronorite and clinopyroxene oikocryst-bearing troctolite and gabbro. All U1415 gabbroic rocks have primitive compositions except for one gabbronorite rubble that is similar in composition to the shallow gabbros. Olivine gabbro, gabbro and gabbronorite overlap in composition: they have high Mg# (79-87) and Ni (130-570 ppm), low TiO2 (0.1-0.3 wt.%) and Yb (1.3-2.3 x chondrite) and positive Eu anomaly (Eu/Eu*=1.9-2.7). Troctolite has high Mg# (81-89), Ni (260-1500 ppm) and low TiO2 (<0.1 wt.%) and Yb (~0.5xchondrite) and large Eu/Eu* (>4). ODP Site 895 recovered sequences of highly depleted harzburgite, dunite and troctolite (Yb down to <0.1xchondrite) that are interpreted as a mantle-crust transition zone. Basalts were recovered at Sites 894 and U1415: they have low Yb (0.5-0.9xN6MORB) and are depleted in the most incompatible elements (Ce/Yb=0.6-0.9xN-MORB). The main geochemical characteristics of Site U1415 and 894 gabbroic rocks are consistent with formation as a cumulate sequence from a common parental MORB melt; troctolites are the most primitive end-member of this sequence. They overlap in composition with the most primitive of slow and fast spread crust gabbroic rocks.

  15. The structure of 0- to 0. 2-m. y. -old oceanic crust at 9 degree N on the East Pacific Rise from expanded spread profiles

    SciTech Connect

    Vera, E.E.; Mutter, J.C.; Buhl, P. ); Orcutt, J.A.; Harding, A.J.; Kappus, M.E. ); Detrick, R.S. ); Brocher, T.M. )

    1990-09-10

    At the seafloor the authors find very low V{sub P} and V{sub S}/V{sub P} values around 2.2 km/s and {le} 0.43. In the topmost 100-200 m of the crust, V{sub P} remains low then rapidly increases to 5 km/s at {approximately}500 m below the seafloor. High attenuation values (Q{sub P} < 100) are suggested in the topmost {approximately}500 m of the crust. The layer 2-3 transition probably occurs within the dike unit, a few hundred meters above the dike-gabbro transition. This transition may mark the maximum depth of penetration by a cracking front and associated hydrothermal circulation in the axial region above the axial magma chamber (AMC). The top of the AMC lies 1.6 km below the seafloor and consists of molten material where V{sub P} {approx} 3 km/s and V{sub S} = 0. Immediately above the AMC, there is a zone of large negative velocity gradients where, on the average, V{sub P} decreases from {approximately}6.3 to 3 km/s over a depth of approximately 250 m. Associated with the AMC there is a low velocity zone (LVZ) that extends to a distance no greater than 10 km away from the rise axis. At the top of the LVZ, sharp velocity contrasts are confined to within 2 km of the rise axis and are associated with molten material or material with a high percentage of melt which would be concentrated only in a thin zone at the apex of the LVZ, in the axial region where the AMC event is seen in reflection lines. The bottom of the LVZ is probably located near the bottom of the crust and above the Moho. Moho arrivals are observed in the profiles at zero and at 10 km from the rise axis. Rather than a single discontinuity, these arrivals indicate an approximately 1-km-thick Moho transition zone.

  16. Pacific ferromanganese crust geology and geochemistry

    SciTech Connect

    Andreev, S.I.; Vanstein, B.G.; Anikeeva, L.I. )

    1990-06-01

    Cobaltiferous ferromanganese crusts form part of a large series of oceanic ferromanganese oxide deposits. The crusts show high cobalt (commonly over 0.4%), low nickel and copper sum (0.4-0.8%), considerably high manganese (18-20%), and iron (14-18%). Less abundant elements in crusts are represented by molybdenum and vanadium; the rare-earth elements cerium, lanthenum, and yttrium; and the noble metals platinum and rhodium. Co-rich crusts form at water depths of 600 to 2,500 m. Crust thicknesses range from millimeters to 15-17 cm, averaging 2-6 cm. The most favorable conditions for 4-10 cm thick crusts to occur is at water depths of 1,200-2,200 m. The crusts formed on basaltic, calcareous, siliceous, and breccia bedrock surfaces provided there were conditions preventing bottom sedimentation at them. If the sedimentation takes place, it may be accompanied by nodules similar in composition to the crusts. The most favorable topography for extensive crust formation is considered to be subdued (up to 20{degree}) slopes and summit platforms of conical seamounts, frequently near faults and their intersection zones. Subhorizontal guyot summits do not usually favor crust growth. Crust geochemistry is primarily defined by mineralogy and manganese hydroxides (vernadite)/iron ratio. The first associated group of compounds includes cobalt, nickel, molybdenum, vanadium, cerium, and titanium; the other is strontium, yttrium, cerium, and cadmium. The aluminosilicate phase is associated with titanium, iron, chromium, and vanadium; phosphate biogenic phase includes copper, nickel, zinc, lead, and barium. The crucial point in cobaltiferous crust formation is their growth rate on which is dependent the degree of ferromanganese matrix sorption saturation with cobalt. The optimum for cobalt-rich ferromanganese ores is the conditions facilitating long-term and continuous hydrogenic processes.

  17. Rocks of the early lunar crust

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    James, O. B.

    1980-01-01

    Data are summarized which suggest a model for the early evolution of the lunar crust. According to the model, during the final stages of accretion, the outer part of the moon melted to form a magma ocean approximately 300 km deep. This ocean fractionated to form mafic and ultramafic cumulates at depth and an overlying anorthositic crust made up of ferroan anorthosites. Subsequent partial melting in the primitive mantle underlying the crystallized magma ocean produced melts which segregated, moved upward, intruded the primordial crust, and crystallized to form layered plutons consisting of Mg-rich plutonic rocks. Intense impact bombardment at the lunar surface mixed and melted the rocks of the two suites to form a thick layer of granulated debris, granulitic breccias, and impact-melt rocks.

  18. Channelized lava flows at the East Pacific Rise crest 9°-10°N: the importance of off-axis lava transport in developing the architecture of young oceanic crust

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Soule, S.A.; Fornari, D.J.; Perfit, M.R.; Tivey, M.A.; Ridley, W.I.; Schouten, Hans

    2005-01-01

     Submarine lava flows are the building blocks of young oceanic crust. Lava erupted at the ridge axis is transported across the ridge crest in a manner dictated by the rheology of the lava, the characteristics of the eruption, and the topography it encounters. The resulting lava flows can vary dramatically in form and consequently in their impact on the physical characteristics of the seafloor and the architecture of the upper 50–500 m of the oceanic crust. We have mapped and measured numerous submarine channelized lava flows at the East Pacific Rise (EPR) crest 9°–10°N that reflect the high-effusion-rate and high-flow-velocity end-member of lava eruption and transport at mid-ocean ridges. Channel systems composed of identifiable segments 50–1000 m in length extend up to 3 km from the axial summit trough (AST) and have widths of 10–50 m and depths of 2–3 m. Samples collected within the channels are N-MORB with Mg# indicating eruption from the AST. We produce detailed maps of lava surface morphology across the channel surface from mosaics of digital images that show lineated or flat sheets at the channel center bounded by brecciated lava at the channel margins. Modeled velocity profiles across the channel surface allow us to determine flux through the channels from 0.4 to 4.7 × 103m3/s, and modeled shear rates help explain the surface morphology variation. We suggest that channelized lava flows are a primary mechanism by which lava accumulates in the off-axis region (1–3 km) and produces the layer 2A thickening that is observed at fast and superfast spreading ridges. In addition, the rapid, high-volume-flux eruptions necessary to produce channelized flows may act as an indicator of the local magma budget along the EPR. We find that high concentrations of channelized lava flows correlate with local, across-axis ridge morphology indicative of an elevated magma budget. Additionally, in locations where channelized flows are located dominantly to the east

  19. High-resolution geology, petrology and age of a tectonically accreted section of Paleoarchean oceanic crust, Barberton greenstone belt, South Africa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Grosch, Eugene; Vidal, Olivier; McLoughlin, Nicola; Whitehouse, Martin

    2015-04-01

    The ca. 3.53 to 3.29 Ga Onverwacht Group of the Barberton greenstone belt (BGB), South Africa records a rare sequence of exceptionally well-preserved volcanic, intrusive and volcani-clastic Paleaoarchean rocks. Numerous conflicting models exist for the geologic evolution and stratigraphy of this early Archean greenstone belt, ranging from plume-type dynamics to modern-style plate tectonics. Although much work has focussed on the komatiites of the ca. 3.48 Ga Komati Formation since their discovery in 1969, far less petrological attention has been given to the younger oceanic rock sequences of the Kromberg type-section in the mid-Onverwacht Group. In this study, we present new field observations from a detailed re-mapping of the Kromberg type-section, and combine this with high-resolution lithological observations from continuous drill core of the Barberton Scientific Drilling Project [1]. The new mapping and field observations are compared to a recent preliminary study of the Kromberg type-section [2]. A U-Pb detrital provenance study was conducted on a reworked, volcani-clastic unit in the upper Kromberg type-section for the first time. This included U-Pb age determination of 110 detrital zircons by secondary ion microprobe analyses (SIMS), providing constraints on maximum depositional age, provenance of the ocean-floor detritus, and timing for the onset of Kromberg ocean basin formation. These new zircon age data are compared to a previous U-Pb detrital zircon study conducted on the structurally underlying sediments of the ca. 3.43 Ga Noisy formation [3]. A multi-pronged petrological approach has been applied to various rock units across the Kromberg, including thermodynamic modelling techniques applied to metabasalts and metapyroxenites for PT-estimates, bulk- and in-situ isotope geochemistry providing constraints on protolith geochemistry and metamorphic history. Consequently, it is shown that this previously poorly studied Kromberg oceanic rock sequence of the

  20. Baltican versus Laurentian Crust in the Norwegian Caledonides between Latitudes 67° and 69° N: Implications for Mountains across oceans

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Steltenpohl, Mark G.; Yaw Nana Yaw, Nana; Andresen, Arild; Verellen, Devon

    2015-04-01

    Field and geochronological data (U-Pb ID-TIMS, SHRIMP, and LA ICPMS) on granitoids and their metasedimentary hosts are reported for rocks of the Bodø and Ofoten regions of north-central Norway documenting the distribution of Baltican versus Laurentian crust and allowing for tectonostratigraphic correlations across the EW-trending Tysfjord basement culmination. In the Bodø region, large areas previously interpreted as domes cored by Baltic basement (ca. 1.8 Ga; e.g., Heggmovatn and Landegode domes) are in fact Caledonian thrust sheets belonging to the exotic (Laurentian) Uppermost Allochthon. The Bratten orthogneiss, the Landegode augen gneiss, and the batholithic Tårnvika augen gneiss each has a ca. 950 Ma age of crystallization, and are together called the Rørstad complex. Orthogneisses that intrude metasedimentary units of the Heggmo allochthon (formerly the Heggmovatn dome) are dated to ca. 930 Ma, and these are intruded by 430 Ma leucogranites; U-Pb analysis of detrital zircons from metasiliciclastic rocks constrain the age of deposition to between 1100-930 Ma. We lithologically correlate the metasedimentary rocks between the Heggmo and Rørstad complexes. The Rørstad complex was migmatized at ca. 450 Ma and then was intruded by 430 Ma granitoids. Ordovician migmatites have not been documented in the Heggmo unit but such relics might have been masked by intense Scandian magmatic and metamorphic activity. The Rørstad and Heggmo units have straightforward age correlations to Mesoproterozoic to Neoproterozoic rock complexes in southern East Greenland and in other parts of the North Atlantic realm (i.e., Krummedal sequence and Eleonore Bay Supergroup). Laurentian Grenville-continental crust preserved in the Uppermost Allochthon of the Bodø region, therefore, records tectonic events that took place on the northeastern Laurentian continental margin prior to its Scandian continent-continent collision with Baltica. In Ofoten, ~150 km north of Bodø, the basal

  1. Stromatolites, ooid dunes, hardgrounds, and crusted mud beds, all products of marine cementation and microbial mats in subtidal oceanic mixing zone on eastern margin of Great Bahama Bank

    SciTech Connect

    Dill, R.F.; Kendall, C.S.C.G.; Steinen, R.P.

    1989-03-01

    The interisland channels along the eastern margin of the Great Bahamas Bank contain lithified structures that owe their origin to recent marine cementation. This cementation appears to be commonly associated with a complex microbial community of plants and microorganisms living within a bank-margin oceanographic mixing zone. In this region, reversing tidal and wind-driven currents flow up to 3 knots (150 cm/sec) three hours out of each six-hour tidal period. Here, marine-cement crusted, carbonate mud beds are found interbedded within migrating ooid sand bars and dunes and are associated with growing, lithified stromatolites up to 2 m in height. These laminated mud beds are found with thicknesses of up to 1 m in subtidal depths of 4 to 8 m (12 to 25 ft). The muds appear to be homogeneous, but closer examination by SEM and under a microscope reveals they are composed of pelletoid aggregates of needle-shaped aragonite crystals with diameters of up to 50 ..mu... The size of these soft pellets is similar to the smaller grains of ooid sands that are abundant in the area. This size similarity could explain why both the mud beds are found in similar high-energy hydraulic regimes as the ooid sands, but does not suggest how or why the aggregates of pure aragonite needles form. A high production of ooid sand within this bank margin environment permits the formation of natural levees along the margins of tidal channels. The back sides of these levees are being lithified by marine cements to form hardgrounds. Skeletal and ooid sand dunes stabilized by Thallasia in channel bottoms also are becoming lithified. Grapestones form at the distributaries of flood tidal deltas of ooid sand. All of these features have a common attribute: they are continually in contact with the turbulent mixing-zone waters.

  2. Variability of low temperature hydrothermal alteration in upper ocean crust: Juan de Fuca Ridge and North Pond, Mid-Atlantic Ridge

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rutter, J.; Harris, M.; Coggon, R. M.; Alt, J.; Teagle, D. A. H.

    2014-12-01

    Over 2/3 of the global hydrothermal heat flux occurs at low temperatures (< 150°) on the ridge flanks carried by fluid volumes comparable to riverine discharge. Understanding ridge flank hydrothermal exchange is important to quantify global geochemical cycles. Hydrothermal chemical pathways are complex and the effects of water-rock reactions remain poorly constrained. Factors controlling fluid flow include volcanic structure, sediment thickness, and basement topography. This study compares the effects of low temperature alteration in two locations with contrasting hydrogeological regimes. The intermediate spreading Juan de Fuca ridge flank (JdF) in the northeast Pacific sports a thick sediment blanket. Rare basement outcrops are sites of fluid recharge and discharge. The average alteration extent (~10% secondary minerals), oxidation ratio (Fe3+/FeTOT=34%), and alteration character (orange, green, grey halos) of basement is constant with crustal age and depth along a 0.97-3.6 m.yr transect of ODP basement holes. However, vesicle fills record an increasingly complex history of successive alteration with age. In contrast, North Pond, a ~8 m.yr-old sediment-filled basin at 22N on the slow spreading Mid Atlantic Ridge, hosts rapid, relatively cool SE to NW basinal fluid flow. Average alteration extent (~10%) and oxidation ratio (33%) of Hole 395A basalts are similar to JdF. However, 395A cores are dominated by orange alteration halos, lack celadonite, but have abundant zeolite. Vesicle fill combinations are highly variable, but the most common fill progression is from oxidising to less oxidising secondary assemblages. The comparable extent of alteration between these two sites and the absence of an age relationship on the JdF suggests that the alteration extent of the upper crust is uniform and mostly established by 1 Myr. However, the variable alteration character reflects the influence of regional hydrology on hydrothermal alteration.

  3. The Crusts of Mars and Earth

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McLennan, S. M.; Taylor, S. R.; Hahn, B. C.

    2007-05-01

    The differentiation of terrestrial planets and large moons results in crusts with compositions differing greatly from primitive mantles. Typically, large fractions of incompatible elements, including heat-producing elements, are transferred into the crust. Mechanisms and timing of this process differ greatly from planet to planet. Accordingly, in order to understand planetary evolution, it is necessary to understand the composition and evolution of planetary crusts. Crustal evolution on Earth is perhaps the least representative of the terrestrial planets and large moons of the solar system. Although Earth substantially melted after the giant impact that resulted in the Moon, there is little evidence for the existence of a primary crust suggesting that such crust was recycled and mixed into the mantle during the Hadean. Instead, Earth has a very young, continually recycled basaltic secondary (oceanic) crust and an andesitic tertiary (continental) crust, unique in the solar system, that grew episodically over 4 Gyr, but with an average age of about 2 Gyr. The continental - oceanic crust dichotomy, temporal changes in continental crust composition, role of plume volcanism and continental growth are largely consequences of evolving plate- tectonic processes. Mars provides a valuable comparison to Earth because it is a planet that is, in many ways, intermediate between Earth and planetary bodies, such as the Moon and Mercury, that completed crustal development by about 3 Gyr and have been dormant since. Martian crust is mostly ancient (>3.5 Gyr) but volcanism has persisted, possibly episodically, to 200 Myr or younger. Proposals of early plate tectonics persist, but the weight of evidence suggests Mars is a one-plate planet. The 50 km thick crust constitutes 3.2% of the mass of the planet and, even with modest levels of LILE enrichment (K=0.33%), has had well in excess of 50% of incompatible elements removed from the mantle during early differentiation that likely

  4. Oxygen consumption in subseafloor basaltic crust

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Orcutt, B. N.; Wheat, C. G.; Hulme, S.; Edwards, K. J.; Bach, W.

    2012-12-01

    Oceanic crust is the largest potential habitat for life on Earth and may contain a significant fraction of Earth's total microbial biomass, yet little is known about the form and function of life in this vast subseafloor realm that covers nearly two-thirds of the Earth's surface. A deep biosphere hosted in subseafloor basalts has been suggested from several lines of evidence; yet, empirical analysis of metabolic reaction rates in basaltic crust is lacking. Here we report the first measure of oxygen consumption in young (~ 8 Ma) and cool (<25 degrees C) basaltic crust, calculated from modeling oxygen and strontium profiles in basal sediments collected during Integrated Ocean Drilling Program (IODP) Expedition 336 to 'North Pond', a sediment 'pond' on the western flank of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge (MAR), where vigorous fluid circulation within basaltic crust occurs. Dissolved oxygen concentrations increased towards the sediment-basement interface, indicating an upward diffusional supply from oxic fluids circulating within the crust. A parametric reaction-transport model suggests oxygen consumption rates on the order of 0.5-500 nmol per cubic centimeter fluid per day in young and cool basaltic crust, providing sufficient energy to support a subsurface crustal biosphere.

  5. Mars Crust: Made of Basalt

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Taylor, G. J.

    2009-05-01

    By combining data from several sources, Harry Y. (Hap) McSween (University of Tennessee), G. Jeffrey Taylor (University of Hawaii) and Michael B. Wyatt (Brown University) show that the surface of Mars is composed mostly of basalt not unlike those that make up the Earth's oceanic crust. McSween and his colleagues used data from Martian meteorites, analyses of soils and rocks at robotic landing sites, and chemical and mineralogical information from orbiting spacecraft. The data show that Mars is composed mostly of rocks similar to terrestrial basalts called tholeiites, which make up most oceanic islands, mid-ocean ridges, and the seafloor beneath sediments. The Martian samples differ in some respects that reflect differences in the compositions of the Martian and terrestrial interiors, but in general are a lot like Earth basalts. Cosmochemistst have used the compositions of Martian meteorites to discriminate bulk properties of Mars and Earth, but McSween and coworkers' synthesis shows that the meteorites differ from most of the Martian crust (the meteorites have lower aluminum, for example), calling into question how diagnostic the meteorites are for understanding the Martian interior.

  6. Subduction-modified oceanic crust mixed with a depleted mantle reservoir in the sources of the Karoo continental flood basalt province

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Heinonen, Jussi S.; Carlson, Richard W.; Riley, Teal R.; Luttinen, Arto V.; Horan, Mary F.

    2014-05-01

    The great majority of continental flood basalts (CFBs) have a marked lithospheric geochemical signature, suggesting derivation from the continental lithosphere, or contamination by it. Here we present new Pb and Os isotopic data and review previously published major element, trace element, mineral chemical, and Sr and Nd isotopic data for geochemically unusual mafic and ultramafic dikes located in the Antarctic segment (Ahlmannryggen, western Dronning Maud Land) of the Karoo CFB province. Some of the dikes show evidence of minor contamination with continental crust, but the least contaminated dikes exhibit depleted mantle - like initial ɛNd (+9) and 187Os/188Os (0.1244-0.1251) at 180 Ma. In contrast, their initial Sr and Pb isotopic compositions (87Sr/86Sr = 0.7035-0.7062, 206Pb/204Pb = 18.2-18.4, 207Pb/204Pb = 15.49-15.52, 208Pb/204Pb = 37.7-37.9 at 180 Ma) are more enriched than expected for depleted mantle, and the major element and mineral chemical evidence indicate contribution from (recycled) pyroxenite sources. Our Sr, Nd, Pb, and Os isotopic and trace element modeling indicate mixed peridotite-pyroxenite sources that contain ˜10-30% of seawater-altered and subduction-modified MORB with a recycling age of less than 1.0 Ga entrained in a depleted Os-rich peridotite matrix. Such a source would explain the unusual combination of elevated initial 87Sr/86Sr and Pb isotopic ratios and relative depletion in LILE, U, Th, Pb and LREE, high initial ɛNd, and low initial 187Os/188Os. Although the sources of the dikes probably did not play a major part in the generation of the Karoo CFBs in general, different kind of recycled source components (e.g., sediment-influenced) would be more difficult to distinguish from lithospheric CFB geochemical signatures. In addition to underlying continental lithosphere, the involvement of recycled sources in causing the apparent lithospheric geochemical affinity of CFBs should thus be carefully assessed in every case.

  7. Phase separation in the crust of accreting neutron stars.

    PubMed

    Horowitz, C J; Berry, D K; Brown, E F

    2007-06-01

    Nucleosynthesis, on the surface of accreting neutron stars, produces a range of chemical elements. We perform molecular dynamics simulations of crystallization to see how this complex composition forms new neutron star crust. We find chemical separation, with the liquid ocean phase greatly enriched in low atomic number elements compared to the solid crust. This phase separation should change many crust properties such as the thermal conductivity and shear modulus. PMID:17677319

  8. Mass and Composition of the Continental Crust Estimated Using the CRUST2.0 Model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Peterson, B. T.; Depaolo, D. J.

    2007-12-01

    The mass, age, and chemical composition of the continental crust are fundamental data for understanding Earth differentiation. The inaccessibility of most of the volume of the crust requires that inferences be made about geochemistry using seismic and heat flow data, with additional constraints provided by scarce lower crustal samples (Rudnick and Fountain, Rev. Geophys., 1995; Rudnick and Gao, Treatise on Geochem., 2003). The global crustal seismic database CRUST2.0 (Bassin, et al., EOS, 2000; Mooney, et al., JGR, 1998; hereafter C2) provides a useful template with which the size and composition of the continents can be assessed, and may be a useful vehicle to organize and analyze diverse geochemical data. We have used C2 to evaluate the modern mass and composition of the continental crust and their uncertainties, and explored our results in the context of global mass balances, such as continents versus depleted mantle. The major source of uncertainty comes from the definition of "continent." The ultimate constraint is the total mass of Earth's crust (oceanic + continental), which, from C2, is 2.77 (in units of 1022 kg). Using crustal thickness as a definition of continent, the mass of continental crust (CC) is 2.195 if the minimum thickness is 12-18km, 2.085 for 22.5km, 2.002 for 25km, and 1.860 for 30km. These numbers include all sediment as continental crust. Using C2 definitions to distinguish oceanic and continental crust (and including oceanic plateaus which contain some continental crust), we calculate the CC mass as 2.171. To estimate chemical composition, we use the C2 reservoir masses. For minimum thickness of 22.5km, C2 yields the proportions 0.016 oceanic sediment, 0.038 continental sediment, 0.321 upper crust, 0.326 middle crust, 0.299 lower crust. Upper, middle, and lower crust are assigned compositions from Rudnick and Gao (2003), continental sediments are assigned upper crust composition, and oceanic sediments are assigned GLOSS composition (Plank

  9. Continental crust beneath southeast Iceland.

    PubMed

    Torsvik, Trond H; Amundsen, Hans E F; Trønnes, Reidar G; Doubrovine, Pavel V; Gaina, Carmen; Kusznir, Nick J; Steinberger, Bernhard; Corfu, Fernando; Ashwal, Lewis D; Griffin, William L; Werner, Stephanie C; Jamtveit, Bjørn

    2015-04-14

    The magmatic activity (0-16 Ma) in Iceland is linked to a deep mantle plume that has been active for the past 62 My. Icelandic and northeast Atlantic basalts contain variable proportions of two enriched components, interpreted as recycled oceanic crust supplied by the plume, and subcontinental lithospheric mantle derived from the nearby continental margins. A restricted area in southeast Iceland--and especially the Öræfajökull volcano--is characterized by a unique enriched-mantle component (EM2-like) with elevated (87)Sr/(86)Sr and (207)Pb/(204)Pb. Here, we demonstrate through modeling of Sr-Nd-Pb abundances and isotope ratios that the primitive Öræfajökull melts could have assimilated 2-6% of underlying continental crust before differentiating to more evolved melts. From inversion of gravity anomaly data (crustal thickness), analysis of regional magnetic data, and plate reconstructions, we propose that continental crust beneath southeast Iceland is part of ∼350-km-long and 70-km-wide extension of the Jan Mayen Microcontinent (JMM). The extended JMM was marginal to East Greenland but detached in the Early Eocene (between 52 and 47 Mya); by the Oligocene (27 Mya), all parts of the JMM permanently became part of the Eurasian plate following a westward ridge jump in the direction of the Iceland plume. PMID:25825769

  10. Continental crust beneath southeast Iceland

    PubMed Central

    Torsvik, Trond H.; Amundsen, Hans E. F.; Trønnes, Reidar G.; Doubrovine, Pavel V.; Gaina, Carmen; Kusznir, Nick J.; Steinberger, Bernhard; Corfu, Fernando; Ashwal, Lewis D.; Griffin, William L.; Werner, Stephanie C.; Jamtveit, Bjørn

    2015-01-01

    The magmatic activity (0–16 Ma) in Iceland is linked to a deep mantle plume that has been active for the past 62 My. Icelandic and northeast Atlantic basalts contain variable proportions of two enriched components, interpreted as recycled oceanic crust supplied by the plume, and subcontinental lithospheric mantle derived from the nearby continental margins. A restricted area in southeast Iceland—and especially the Öræfajökull volcano—is characterized by a unique enriched-mantle component (EM2-like) with elevated 87Sr/86Sr and 207Pb/204Pb. Here, we demonstrate through modeling of Sr–Nd–Pb abundances and isotope ratios that the primitive Öræfajökull melts could have assimilated 2–6% of underlying continental crust before differentiating to more evolved melts. From inversion of gravity anomaly data (crustal thickness), analysis of regional magnetic data, and plate reconstructions, we propose that continental crust beneath southeast Iceland is part of ∼350-km-long and 70-km-wide extension of the Jan Mayen Microcontinent (JMM). The extended JMM was marginal to East Greenland but detached in the Early Eocene (between 52 and 47 Mya); by the Oligocene (27 Mya), all parts of the JMM permanently became part of the Eurasian plate following a westward ridge jump in the direction of the Iceland plume. PMID:25825769

  11. The seismic structure of crust formed in back-arc spreading centers.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ranero, Cesar R.; Grevemeyer, Ingo

    2015-04-01

    About 3/4 of the Earth crust and most past subducted crust have been formed at oceanic spreading centers. Seismic experiments on oceanic crust that underlies most of the world ocean basins have defined a ubiquitous three-velocity-layers structure. Layer 1 is identified as sediment, but interpretation of layers 2 and 3 has remained a topic of intense research for more than half century. The nature of oceanic crust at basins has been mainly inferred from indirect geophysical measurements and rocks sampled at the seafloor. Current models propose that the formation of oceanic crust at mid ocean ridges (MOR) -away from hotspot anomalies- is essentially controlled by the rate of plate separation, with crustal types classified as ultraslow, slow, intermediate, and fast spreading crust. We present the first modern extensive seismic study of back-arc oceanic crust providing constrains on accretion processes. The depth-velocity distribution of back-arc crust resembles MOR layered structure, but velocities are systematically different to MOR crust formed at any spreading rate. In particular, Layer 3 display lower velocities, indicating either a considerable different rock composition or deformation process. Integrating our observations with data from other back-arc basins of the world indicates a considerable variety of crustal velocities. The seismic structure of the crust indicates that back-arc spreading represents a class of spreading in its own.

  12. Early formation of evolved asteroidal crust.

    PubMed

    Day, James M D; Ash, Richard D; Liu, Yang; Bellucci, Jeremy J; Rumble, Douglas; McDonough, William F; Walker, Richard J; Taylor, Lawrence A

    2009-01-01

    Mechanisms for the formation of crust on planetary bodies remain poorly understood. It is generally accepted that Earth's andesitic continental crust is the product of plate tectonics, whereas the Moon acquired its feldspar-rich crust by way of plagioclase flotation in a magma ocean. Basaltic meteorites provide evidence that, like the terrestrial planets, some asteroids generated crust and underwent large-scale differentiation processes. Until now, however, no evolved felsic asteroidal crust has been sampled or observed. Here we report age and compositional data for the newly discovered, paired and differentiated meteorites Graves Nunatak (GRA) 06128 and GRA 06129. These meteorites are feldspar-rich, with andesite bulk compositions. Their age of 4.52 +/- 0.06 Gyr demonstrates formation early in Solar System history. The isotopic and elemental compositions, degree of metamorphic re-equilibration and sulphide-rich nature of the meteorites are most consistent with an origin as partial melts from a volatile-rich, oxidized asteroid. GRA 06128 and 06129 are the result of a newly recognized style of evolved crust formation, bearing witness to incomplete differentiation of their parent asteroid and to previously unrecognized diversity of early-formed materials in the Solar System. PMID:19129845

  13. Does subduction zone magmatism produce average continental crust

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ellam, R. M.; Hawkesworth, C. J.

    1988-01-01

    The question of whether present day subduction zone magmatism produces material of average continental crust composition, which perhaps most would agree is andesitic, is addressed. It was argued that modern andesitic to dacitic rocks in Andean-type settings are produced by plagioclase fractionation of mantle derived basalts, leaving a complementary residue with low Rb/Sr and a positive Eu anomaly. This residue must be removed, for example by delamination, if the average crust produced in these settings is andesitic. The author argued against this, pointing out the absence of evidence for such a signature in the mantle. Either the average crust is not andesitic, a conclusion the author was not entirely comfortable with, or other crust forming processes must be sought. One possibility is that during the Archean, direct slab melting of basaltic or eclogitic oceanic crust produced felsic melts, which together with about 65 percent mafic material, yielded an average crust of andesitic composition.

  14. Evolution of the Archaean crust by delamination and shallow subduction.

    PubMed

    Foley, Stephen F; Buhre, Stephan; Jacob, Dorrit E

    2003-01-16

    The Archaean oceanic crust was probably thicker than present-day oceanic crust owing to higher heat flow and thus higher degrees of melting at mid-ocean ridges. These conditions would also have led to a different bulk composition of oceanic crust in the early Archaean, that would probably have consisted of magnesium-rich picrite (with variably differentiated portions made up of basalt, gabbro, ultramafic cumulates and picrite). It is unclear whether these differences would have influenced crustal subduction and recycling processes, as experiments that have investigated the metamorphic reactions that take place during subduction have to date considered only modern mid-ocean-ridge basalts. Here we present data from high-pressure experiments that show that metamorphism of ultramafic cumulates and picrites produces pyroxenites, which we infer would have delaminated and melted to produce basaltic rocks, rather than continental crust as has previously been thought. Instead, the formation of continental crust requires subduction and melting of garnet-amphibolite--formed only in the upper regions of oceanic crust--which is thought to have first occurred on a large scale during subduction in the late Archaean. We deduce from this that shallow subduction and recycling of oceanic crust took place in the early Archaean, and that this would have resulted in strong depletion of only a thin layer of the uppermost mantle. The misfit between geochemical depletion models and geophysical models for mantle convection (which include deep subduction) might therefore be explained by continuous deepening of this depleted layer through geological time. PMID:12529633

  15. The geodynamic province of transitional crust adjacent to magma-poor continental margins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sibuet, J.; Tucholke, B. E.

    2011-12-01

    Two types of 'transitional crust' have been documented along magma-poor rifted margins. One consists of apparently sub-continental mantle that has been exhumed and serpentinized in a regime of brittle deformation during late stages of rifting. A second is highly thinned continental crust, which in some cases is known to have been supported near sea level until very late in the rift history and thus is interpreted to reflect depth-dependent extension. In both cases it is typically assumed that formation of oceanic crust occurs shortly after the breakup of brittle continental crust and thus that the transitional crust has relatively limited width. We here examine two representative cases of transitional crust, one in the Newfoundland-Iberia rift (exhumed mantle) and one off the Angola-Gabon margin (highly thinned continental crust). Considering the geological and geophysical evidence, we propose that depth-dependent extension (riftward flow of weak lower/middle continental crust and/or upper mantle) may be a common phenomenon on magma-poor margins and that this can result in a much broader zone of transitional crust than has hitherto been assumed. Transitional crust in this extended zone may consist of sub-continental mantle, lower to middle continental crust, or some combination thereof, depending on the strength profile of the pre-rift continental lithosphere. Transitional crust ceases to be emplaced (i.e., final 'breakup' occurs) only when emplacement of heat and melt from the rising asthenosphere becomes dominant over lateral flow of the weak lower lithosphere. This model implies a two-stage breakup: first the rupture of the brittle upper crust and second, the eventual emplacement of oceanic crust. Well-defined magnetic anomalies can form in transitional crust consisting of highly serpentinized, exhumed mantle, and they therefore are not diagnostic of oceanic crust. Where present in transitional crust, these anomalies can be helpful in interpreting the rifting

  16. The Continental Crust: A Geophysical Approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Christensen, Nikolas I.

    Nearly 80 years ago, Yugoslavian seismologist Andrija Mohorovicic recognized, while studying a Balkan earthquake, that velocities of seismic waves increase abruptly at a few tens of kilometers depth , giving rise to the seismological definition of the crust. Since that discovery, many studies concerned with the nature of both the continental and oceanic crusts have appeared in the geophysical literature.Recently, interest in the continental crust has cascaded. This is largely because of an infusion of new data obtained from major reflection programs such as the Consortium for Continental Reflection Profiling (COCORP) and British Institutions Reflection Profiling Syndicate (BIRPS) and increased resolution of refraction studies. In addition, deep continental drilling programs are n ow in fashion. The Continental Crust: A Geophysical Approach is a summary of present knowledge of the continental crust. Meissner has succeeded in writing a book suited to many different readers, from the interested undergraduate to the professional. The book is well documented , with pertinent figures and a complete and up-to-date reference list.

  17. Corium crust strength measurements.

    SciTech Connect

    Lomperski, S.; Nuclear Engineering Division

    2009-11-01

    Corium strength is of interest in the context of a severe reactor accident in which molten core material melts through the reactor vessel and collects on the containment basemat. Some accident management strategies involve pouring water over the melt to solidify it and halt corium/concrete interactions. The effectiveness of this method could be influenced by the strength of the corium crust at the interface between the melt and coolant. A strong, coherent crust anchored to the containment walls could allow the yet-molten corium to fall away from the crust as it erodes the basemat, thereby thermally decoupling the melt from the coolant and sharply reducing the cooling rate. This paper presents a diverse collection of measurements of the mechanical strength of corium. The data is based on load tests of corium samples in three different contexts: (1) small blocks cut from the debris of the large-scale MACE experiments, (2) 30 cm-diameter, 75 kg ingots produced by SSWICS quench tests, and (3) high temperature crusts loaded during large-scale corium/concrete interaction (CCI) tests. In every case the corium consisted of varying proportions of UO{sub 2}, ZrO{sub 2}, and the constituents of concrete to represent a LWR melt at different stages of a molten core/concrete interaction. The collection of data was used to assess the strength and stability of an anchored, plant-scale crust. The results indicate that such a crust is likely to be too weak to support itself above the melt. It is therefore improbable that an anchored crust configuration could persist and the melt become thermally decoupled from the water layer to restrict cooling and prolong an attack of the reactor cavity concrete.

  18. Cyclic growth in Atlantic region continental crust

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Goodwin, A. M.

    1986-01-01

    Atlantic region continental crust evolved in successive stages under the influence of regular, approximately 400 Ma-long tectonic cycles. Data point to a variety of operative tectonic processes ranging from widespread ocean floor consumption (Wilson cycle) to entirely ensialic (Ampferer-style subduction or simple crustal attenuation-compression). Different processes may have operated concurrently in some or different belts. Resolving this remains the major challenge.

  19. Raindrop induced crust formation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Szabó, Judit Alexandra; Jakab, Gergely; Józsa, Sándor; Németh, Tibor; Kovács, Ivett; Szalai, Zoltán

    2016-04-01

    Rainfall simulators are wildly used to study soil erosion because all parts of the erosion process can be simulated with them. Small-scale laboratory rainfall simulator was used to examine the detachment phase of the erosion and study the redistribution trend of the organic and mineral components of the soil. Splash erosion often creates crust on the soil surface that decreases porosity and infiltration. Crusts have crucial role in physical soil degradation processes, erosion and crop production fall. Intensive rainfall on a recently tilled Regosol and a Cambisol plots detached the aggregates and the occurred runoff scattered the individual particles on the surface. Oriented thin sections from the various morphological types of surface crusts were made similar as a thin section from any rock but during the preparation the samples were saturated often with dilute two-component adhesive to solidify the soil to preserve the crust. Raman spectroscopy and XRD analysis measurements are in progress in order to identify spatial changes in organic matter and mineralogical composition among the crust layers. Preliminary results suggest the separation of the mineral and organic soil components. The lighter organic matter seems to be enriched in the soil loss while the heavier minerals are deposited and stratified in the deeper micromorphological positions of the surface. The understanding of this selectivity is necessary in soil loss estimation.

  20. Strange Quark Star Crusts

    SciTech Connect

    Steiner, Andrew W.

    2007-02-27

    If strange quark matter is absolutely stable, some neutron stars may be strange quark stars. Strange quark stars are usually assumed to have a simple liquid surface. We show that if the surface tension of droplets of quark matter in the vacuum is sufficiently small, droplets of quark matter on the surface of a strange quark star may form a solid crust on top of the strange quark star. This solid crust can significantly modify the predictions for the photon emission for the surface in an observable way.

  1. Osmium Isotope Straigraphy of Ferromanganese Crusts

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bolz, V.; Levasseur, S.; Frank, M.; Hein, J.; Halliday, A.

    2004-12-01

    To interpret the changes in isotopic compositions recorded in hydrogenetic ferromanganese (Fe-Mn) crusts over time it is essential to calibrate them in terms of time. The 10Be method is only reliable for the first 10 Myr. For older parts of the crusts the Co-constant flux method is used. Both approaches however, will fail to account for any growth hiatus or erosion in the sections older than 10 Ma. Attempts at using Sr isotope stratigraphy failed because of post-depositional exchange. For osmium (Os) isotopes on the other hand, calculations of the rate of post-depositional exchange suggest that long-term records in Fe-Mn crusts are reliable. This would allow the 187Os/188Os profile of any hydrogeneous Fe-Mn crust to be fitted against the 187Os/188Os seawater record established for the last 80 Myr. This stratigraphic method would determine the age of crusts at any depth and identify changes in growth rate, cessation of growth and/or intervals of crust erosion. We tested this hypothesis on the hydrogeneous crust CD29-2 from the Central Pacific Ocean which had been subject to many previous radiogenic isotope studies. CD29-2 is a 105mm thick crust with a growth rate of 2.1mm/Myr, as determined from 10Be/9Be ratios and the Co-constant flux method. This gives a minimum age of 50 Ma for the lowermost portions of the crust. Samples were taken every 2mm through the crust which results in a time-spacing of 1Myr assuming a constant growth. For each sample the 187Os/188Os ratio and the 187Os concentration ([187Os]) were determined by ID-NTIMS. The [187Re] was measured by MC-ICPMS, allowing correction for 187 Re-decay. The corrected 187Os/188Os ratios were compared to the seawater record. Using the Be and Co time scales, the 187Os/188Os curve obtained from the crust shows a distorted version of the established seawater record. A good match is found if three hiatuses are allowed. The first hiatus of 15 Myr is assigned to the period between 13 and 28 Ma, a second one of 3 Myr to

  2. Magmatic intrusions in the lunar crust

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Michaut, C.; Thorey, C.

    2015-10-01

    The lunar highlands are very old, with ages covering a timespan between 4.5 to 4.2 Gyr, and probably formed by flotation of light plagioclase minerals on top of the lunar magma ocean. The lunar crust provides thus an invaluable evidence of the geological and magmatic processes occurring in the first times of the terrestrial planets history. According to the last estimates from the GRAIL mission, the lunar primary crust is particularly light and relatively thick [1] This low-density crust acted as a barrier for the dense primary mantle melts. This is particularly evident in the fact that subsequent mare basalts erupted primarily within large impact basin: at least part of the crust must have been removed for the magma to reach the surface. However, the trajectory of the magma from the mantle to the surface is unknown. Using a model of magma emplacement below an elastic overlying layer with a flexural wavelength Λ, we characterize the surface deformations induced by the presence of shallow magmatic intrusions. We demonstrate that, depending on its size, the intrusion can show two different shapes: a bell shape when its radius is smaller than 4 times Λ or a flat top with small bended edges if its radius is larger than 4 times Λ[2]. These characteristic shapes for the intrusion result in characteristic deformations at the surface that also depend on the topography of the layer overlying the intrusion [3].Using this model we provide evidence of the presence of intrusions within the crust of the Moon as surface deformations in the form of low-slope lunar domes and floor-fractured craters. All these geological features have morphologies consistent with models of magma spreading at depth and deforming an overlying elastic layer. Further more,at floor-fractured craters, the deformation is contained within the crater interior, suggesting that the overpressure at the origin of magma ascent and intrusion was less than the pressure due to the weight of the crust removed by

  3. Phosphatization Associated Features of Ferromanganese Crusts at Lemkein Seamount, Marshall Islands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Choi, J.; Lee, I.; Park, B. K.; Kim, J.

    2014-12-01

    Old layers of ferromanganese crusts, especially in the Pacific Ocean, have been affected by phosphatization. Ferromanganese crusts on Lemkein seamount in Marshall Islands also are phosphatized (3.3 to 4.2 wt % of P concentration). Furthermore, they have characteristic features that are different from other ferromanganese crusts. These features occur near the phosphorite, which were thought to fill the pore spaces of ferromanganese crusts. Inside the features, ferromanganese crusts are botryoidally precipitated from the round-boundary. The features of the phosphatized lower crusts of Lemkein seamount are observed using microscope and SEM. Elemental compositions of the selected samples were analyzed by SEM-EDS. Based on the observation and analysis of samples, three characteristic structures are identified: (1) phosphate-filled circles, (2) tongue-shaped framboidal crust, and (3) massive framboidal crust. The phosphate-filled circles are mostly composed of phosphorite, and they include trace fossils such as foraminifera. Phosphatized ferromanganese crusts exist at the boundary of this structure. The tongue-shaped crust is connected with the lips downward, and ferromanganese crusts inside the tongue show distinct growth rim. The massive framboidal crust is located below the tongue. Ferromanganese crusts in the massive framboidal crust are enveloped by phosphate, and some of the crusts are phosphatized. Around the structures, Mn oxide phase is concentrated as a shape of corona on BSE image. All of the structures are in the phosphatized crusts that show columnar growth of ferromanganese crusts and have sub-parallel lamination. These observation and chemical analysis of the ferromanganese crusts can provide a clue of diagenetic processes during the formation of ferromanganese crusts.

  4. Stored mafic/ultramafic crust and early Archean mantle depletion

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Chase, Clement G.; Patchett, P. J.

    1990-01-01

    Both early and late Archean rocks from greenstone belts and felsic gneiss complexes exhibit positive epsilon(Nd) values of +1 to +5 by 3.5 Ga, demonstrating that a depleted mantle reservoir existed very early. The amount of preserved pre-3.0 Ga continental crust cannot explain such high epsilon values in the depleted residue unless the volume of residual mantle was very small: a layer less than 70 km thick by 3.0 Ga. Repeated and exclusive sampling of such a thin layer, especially in forming the felsic gneiss complexes, is implausible. Extraction of enough continental crust to deplete the early mantle and its destructive recycling before 3.0 Ga ago requires another implausibility, that the sites of crustal generation of recycling were substantially distinct. In contrast, formation of mafic or ultramafic crust analogous to present-day oceanic crust was continuous from very early times. Recycled subducted oceanic lithosphere is a likely contributor to present-day hotspot magmas, and forms a reservoir at least comparable in volume to continental crust. Subduction of an early mafic/ultramafic oceanic crust and temporary storage rather than immediate mixing back into undifferentiated mantle may be responsible for the depletion and high epsilon(Nd) values of the Archean upper mantle.

  5. Seismic structure of crust formed by back-arc spreading

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Grevemeyer, I.; Ranero, C. R.

    2012-12-01

    About three quarters of today Earth crust and most of the past subducted crust have been formed at oceanic spreading centers. Soon after the discovery that oceanic crust underlies most of the world ocean basins it was defined its ubiquitous three-velocity-layers structure, a structure that has been found to date in the vast majority of seismic experiments at mid ocean ridges (MOR) and old oceanic plates, defining the most prevalent crustal structure on Earth. Layer 1 was quickly identified as sediment, but interpretation of layers 2 and 3 remains a topic of intense research since more than half century. The nature of the oceanic crust is primarily inferred from indirect geophysical measurements and rocks sampled at the seafloor. Current models propose that the formation of oceanic crust at MOR -away from hotspot anomalies- is essentially controlled by the rate of plate separation, with crustal types classified as ultraslow, slow, intermediate, and fast spreading crust. However, evaluation of the deep structure has been limited to only a few drill sites (sites 504, 894, 1256) and exposures in tectonic windows (Hess Deep) by sampling of lower crust rocks. Attempting to overcome this limitation, models of oceanic accretion rely strongly on observations from ophiolitic rock assemblages found in orogenic belts, and long interpreted as slices of oceanic lithosphere obducted during subduction-collision processes. After realization that ophiolite stratigraphy -so-called Penrose model - comprises, from bottom to top, peridotites, gabbros, diabase, and basalt, it was proposed that the oceanic layered velocity structure corresponds to that stratigraphy. Although the oceanic "Penrose" stratigraphy was supported by a comparable structure and velocity values measured at some ophiolites, crustal models have subsequently evolved to account for a variable rock-type architecture related to spreading rate. Today the original "Penrose" ophiolite model is regarded appropriate for

  6. Ultra-deep drilling to the middle crust of the Izu-Bonin-Mariana arc

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tatsumi, Y.; Kelley, K. A.

    2009-12-01

    This proposal is for the ultra-deep drilling site of a series of IODP proposals in the Izu-Bonin Mariana (IBM) arc that aim at comprehensive understanding of arc evolution and continental crust formation. We propose to drill a deep hole that penetrates through a complete sequence of intra-oceanic arc upper crust and into the in situ arc middle crust, which may be the birthplace of continental crust. The bulk composition of continental crust is andesitic (60 wt.% SiO2), which raises the question of how intra-oceanic arcs produce continental crust if the dominant product of mantle wedge melting and a major proportion of intra-oceanic arc lava is basaltic (50 wt.% SiO2). There is no pre-existing continental crust in the IBM arc, yet recent seismic studies of this arc reveal a thick layer in the middle crust (Vp=6.0-6.5 km/s) that is hypothesized to be intermediate/felsic in composition. The primary goals of sampling the in situ arc crust through drilling are: (1) to identify the structure and lithologies present in the upper and middle arc crust, (2) to constrain the petrologic and chronological relationship of mid-crustal rocks to the overlying upper crust, (3) to establish the temporal evolution of arc crust by relating this site with other regional drill sites and exposed sections of arc and continental crust, and (4) to test competing hypotheses of how the upper and middle crust forms and evolves in an intra-oceanic arc setting. These objectives address questions of global significance, but we have specifically identified the IBM arc system as an ideal locale to conduct this experiment. The composition of the pre-subduction upper plate was normal oceanic crust, and the tectonic and temporal evolution of this arc system is well-constrained. Moreover, the IBM system is perhaps the best-studied intra-oceanic arc on Earth, thanks to extensive sampling of the slab inputs and arc outputs through field studies and drilling, and to a series of recent, focused geophysical

  7. Earthquakes in Stable Continental Crust.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Johnston, Arch C.; Kanter, Lisa R.

    1990-01-01

    Discussed are some of the reasons for earthquakes which occur in stable crust away from familiar zones at the ends of tectonic plates. Crust stability and the reactivation of old faults are described using examples from India and Australia. (CW)

  8. Temperature distribution in the crust and mantle

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Jeanloz, R.; Morris, S.

    1986-01-01

    In an attempt to understand the temperature distribution in the earth, experimental constraints on the geotherm in the crust and mantle are considered. The basic form of the geotherm is interpreted on the basis of two dominant mechanisms by which heat is transported in the earth: (1) conduction through the rock, and (2) advection by thermal flow. Data reveal that: (1) the temperature distributions through continental lithosphere and through oceanic lithosphere more than 60 million years old are practically indistinguishable, (2) crustal uplift is instrumental in modifying continental geotherms, and (3) the average temperature through the Archean crust and mantle was similar to that at present. It is noted that current limitations in understanding the constitution of the lower mantle can lead to significant uncertainties in the thermal response time of the planetary interior.

  9. Steady State Growth of Continental Crust?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bowring, S. A.; Bauer, A.; Dudas, F. O.; Schoene, B.; McLean, N. M.

    2012-12-01

    More than twenty years since the publication of Armstrong's seminal paper, debate still rages about most aspects of the Earth's first billion years. Although orders of magnitude more data have been generated since then, the arguments remain the same. The debate is largely centered on the isotopic systematics of minerals and whole rocks, the major and trace element geochemistry of continental crust, and various geodynamic models for differentiation of the planet. Most agree that earth, like all the terrestrial planets, differentiated into a crust, mantle and core very early in its history. After that, models of crustal evolution diverge significantly, including the suggestions that modern style plate tectonics did not originate until ca. 2.7 Ga or younger and that plumes have played a major role in the generation of continental crust. Many believe that the preserved rock record and the detrital zircon record are consistent with episodic crustal growth, which in turn has led to geodynamic models of episodic mantle convection driving major crust forming events. High-precision and high-throughput geochronology have led to claims of episodicity even more pronounced than that presented in Gastil's 1960 paper. We believe that Earth history has been dominated by plate tectonics and that continental crust is formed largely by amalgamation of island arcs, seamounts, micro continents, and oceanic plateaus. While there are geochemical differences in the average composition of Archean igneous rocks when compared to younger rocks, the processes responsible for their formation may not have changed a great deal. In this view, the so-called crustal growth curves originated by Hurley are in fact crude approximations of crustal preservation. The most highly cited rationales for the view that little silicic crust formed during Earth's first billion years are the lack of known exposed crust older than 3.5 Ga and the paucity of detrital zircons older than 4.0 Ga in sedimentary rocks of

  10. [Crusted scabies: A review].

    PubMed

    Jouret, G; Bounemeur, R; Presle, A; Takin, R

    2016-04-01

    Crusted scabies is a rare and severe form of infestation by Sarcoptes scabies var. hominis. It is characterized by profuse hyperkeratosis containing over 4000 mites per gram of skin, with treatment being long and difficult. The condition is both direct and indirectly contagious. It has a central role in epidemic cycles of scabies, the incidence of which is on the rise in economically stable countries. Recent discoveries concerning the biology of mites, the pathophysiology of hyperkeratosis and the key role of IL-17 in this severe form open up new therapeutic perspectives. PMID:26948093

  11. Composition and origin of ferromanganese crusts from equatorial western Pacific seamounts

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Guozhi; Jansa, Luba; Chu, Fengyou; Zou, Can; Sun, Guosheng

    2015-04-01

    In the equatorial western Pacific, iron-manganese oxyhydroxide crusts (Fe-Mn crusts) and nodules form on basaltic seamounts and on the top of drowned carbonate platform guyots that have been swept free of pelagic sediments. To date, the Fe-Mn crusts have been considered to be almost exclusively of abiotic origin. However, it has recently been suggested that these crusts may be a result of biomineralization. Although the Fe-Mn crust textures in the equatorial western Pacific are similar to those constructed by bacteria and algae, and biomarkers also document the existence of bacteria and algae dispersed within the Fe-Mn crusts, the precipitation, accumulation and distribution of elements, such as Fe, Mn, Ni and Co in Fe-Mn crusts are not controlled by microbial activity. Bacteria and algae are only physically incorporated into the crusts when dead plankton settle on the ocean floor and are trapped on the crust surface. Geochemical evidence suggests a hydrogenous origin of Fe-Mn crusts in the equatorial western Pacific, thus verifying a process for Fe-Mn crusts that involves the precipitation of colloidal phases from seawater followed by extensive scavenging of dissolved trace metals into the mineral phase during crust formation.

  12. Continental crust: a geophysical approach

    SciTech Connect

    Meissner, R.

    1986-01-01

    This book develops an integrated and balanced picture of present knowledge of the continental crust. Crust and lithosphere are first defined, and the formation of crusts as a general planetary phenomenon is described. The background and methods of geophysical studies of the earth's crust and the collection of related geophysical parameters are examined. Creep and friction experiments and the various methods of radiometric age dating are addressed, and geophysical and geological investigations of the crustal structure in various age provinces of the continents are studied. Specific tectonic structures such as rifts, continental margins, and geothermal areas are discussed. Finally, an attempt is made to give a comprehensive view of the evolution of the continental crust and to collect and develop arguments for crustal accretion and recycling. 647 references.

  13. Cobalt in ferromanganese crusts as a monitor of hydrothermal discharge on the Pacific sea floor

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Manheim, F. T.; Lane-Bostwick, C. M.

    1988-01-01

    Ferromanganese oxide crusts, which accumulate on unsedimented surfaces in the open ocean1-6, derive most of their metal content from dissolved and particulate matter in ambient bottom water7,8, in proportions modified by the variable scavenging efficiency of the oxide phase for susceptible ions9. They differ in this respect from abyssal nodules, much of whose metals are remobilized from host sediments. Here we present maps of cobalt concentration and inferred accumulation rate of ferromanganese crusts from the Pacific Ocean. We propose that depletion of cobalt in Pacific crusts measures the location and intensity of submarine hydrothermal discharge. Use of the 'cobalt chronometer', an algorithm inversely relating cobalt content and crust growth rate, permits mapping of the accumulation rate of ferromanganese crusts with only indirect recourse to radioactivity-based dating methods. These maps show that crusts in hydrothermal areas grow from two to more than four orders of magnitude faster than in the Central Pacific Ocean. Cobalt-enriched crusts are found where water masses are most isolated from continental-coastal and hydrothermal sources of metals, now and in the past. This relationship can resolve the problem of cobalt enrichment in crusts without recourse to hypotheses invoking special cobalt sources or enrichment mechanisms. ?? 1988 Nature Publishing Group.

  14. Earth’s earliest evolved crust generated in an Iceland-like setting

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Reimink, Jesse R.; Chacko, Thomas; Stern, Richard A.; Heaman, Larry M.

    2014-07-01

    It is unclear how the earliest continental crust formed on an Earth that was probably originally surfaced with oceanic crust. Continental crust may have first formed in an ocean island-like setting, where upwelling mantle generates magmas that crystallize to form new crust. Of the oceanic plateaux, Iceland is closest in character to continental crust, because its crust is anomalously thick and contains a relatively high proportion of silica-rich (sialic) rocks. Iceland has therefore been considered a suitable analogue for the generation of Earth’s earliest continental crust. However, the geochemical signature of sialic rocks from Iceland is distinct from the typical 3.9- to 2.5-billion-year-old Archaean rocks discovered so far. Here we report the discovery of an exceptionally well-preserved, 4.02-billion-year-old tonalitic gneiss rock unit within the Acasta Gneiss Complex in Canada. We use geochemical analyses to show that this rock unit is characterized by iron enrichment, negative Europium anomalies, unfractionated rare-earth-element patterns, and magmatic zircons with low oxygen isotope ratios. These geochemical characteristics are unlike typical Archaean igneous rocks, but are strikingly similar to those of the sialic rocks from Iceland and imply that this ancient rock unit was formed by shallow-level magmatic processes that include assimilation of rocks previously altered by surface waters. Our data provide direct evidence that Earth’s earliest continental crust formed in a tectonic setting comparable to modern Iceland.

  15. Subduction of thick crust: the Alaska example (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Abers, G. A.; Kim, Y.; Christensen, D. H.

    2013-12-01

    It is a paradigm of plate tectonics that oceanic lithosphere subducts readily, while lithosphere transporting much thicker continental crust does not. Analyses of plate buoyancy have included a variety of effects, such as eclogitization, crustal compositional stratification, and plate strength, but all lead to the conclusion that crust needs to be thinner than about 15-25 km in order to subduct. A test of this conclusion is underway in southern Alaska, where the Yakutat terrane is being driven by the Pacific plate into the Alaskan margin. Its crust is 15-30 km thick, varying along strike, with a seismic velocity structure resembling an oceanic plateau; thus it spans the predicted limit in thickness of subductable crust. In the eastern thicker part, the terrane appears to be colliding and driving orogenesis in the St. Elias-Chugach ranges, although voluminous volcanism of the Wrangell Volcanic Field may be a consequence of some crust subducting. Farther west, the Yakutat terrane is 15-20 km thick and clearly subducting beneath the Prince William Sound and Kenai Peninsula. It forms the slab subducting beneath the central Alaska Range 400 km inland. The thick crust has been imaged at all depths less than 130 km, through receiver functions, travel-time tomography, and offshore by active-source imaging, with similar structure in most images. Greater than 130 km depth the imaged crust vanishes in seismic images, consistent with predicted depths of eclogitization of weakly hydrated metagabbroic crust, and the lack of a velocity contrast between eclogite and peridotite. Lithosphere including the thick Yakutat crust gives a net buoyancy close to neutral, so its subduction will depend on other factors. The high buoyancy may be responsible for the remarkably shallow dip of the plate at depths less than 50 km, producing one of the widest seismogenic thrust zones on the planet, allowing it to host the great (Mw 9.3) 1964 Gulf of Alaska earthquake. The shallow dip may also aid

  16. Crust and mantle of the gulf of Mexico

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Moore, G.W.

    1972-01-01

    A SEEMING paradox has puzzled investigators of the crustal structure of the Gulf of Mexico since Ewing et al.1 calculated that a unit area of the rather thick crust in the gulf contains less mass than does a combination of the crust and enough of the upper mantle to make a comparable thickness in the Atlantic Ocean. They also noted that the free-air gravity of the gulf is essentially normal and fails by a large factor to be low enough to reflect the mass difference that they calculated. We propose a solution to this problem. ?? 1972 Nature Publishing Group.

  17. Radial spreading of viscous-gravity currents with solidifying crust

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Fink, Jonathan H.; Griffiths, Ross W.

    1990-01-01

    In the present investigation of solidifying-crust effects on the dynamics and surface morphology of radial viscous-gravity currents, polyethylene glycol inflows into the base of a tank holding a cold sucrose solution are used as analogs. As the radial current advanced away from the inlet, its surface solidified and deformed through a combination of folding anf fracturing. When cooling was sufficiently rapid, solid crust formed and caused the spreading rate to increase; progressively colder experiments revealed a sequence of surface morphologies resembling features of cooling lava flows and lava lakes, including multiarmed rift structures with shear offsets and bulbous lobate forms resembling pillow lavas on the ocean floor.

  18. Oceanic Plateaus

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kerr, A. C.

    2003-12-01

    Although the existence of large continental flood basalt provinces has been known for some considerable time, e.g., Holmes (1918), the recognition that similar flood basalt provinces also exist below the oceans is relatively recent. In the early 1970s increasing amounts of evidence from seismic reflection and refraction studies revealed that the crust in several large portions of the ocean floor is significantly thicker than "normal" oceanic crust, which is 6-7 km thick. One of the first areas of such over-thickened crust to be identified was the Caribbean plate ( Edgar et al., 1971) which Donnelly (1973) proposed to be an "oceanic flood basalt province". The term oceanic plateau was coined by Kroenke (1974), and was prompted by the discovery of a large area of thickened crust (>30 km) in the western Pacific known as the Ontong Java plateau (OJP). As our knowledge of the ocean basins has improved over the last 25 years, many more oceanic plateaus have been identified ( Figure 1). Coffin and Eldholm (1992) introduced the term "large igneous provinces" (LIPs) as a generic term encompassing oceanic plateaus, continental flood basalt provinces, and those provinces which form at the continent-ocean boundary (volcanic rifted margins). (22K)Figure 1. Map showing all major oceanic plateaus, and other large igneous provinces discussed in the text (after Saunders et al., 1992). LIPs are generally believed to be formed by decompression melting of upwelling hotter mantle, known as mantle plumes. Although ideas about hotpots and mantle plumes have been around for almost 40 years (Wilson, 1963), it is only in the past 15 years that LIPs have become the focus of major research. One of the main reasons for the increased research activity into LIPs is the realization that significant proportions of these LIPs erupted over a relatively short time, often less than 2-3 Myr (see review in Coffin, 1994). This has important implications for mantle processes and source regions ( Hart et

  19. Models of a partially hydrated Titan interior with clathrate crust

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lunine, J. I.; Castillo-Rogez, J.

    2012-04-01

    We present an updated model of the interior evolution of Titan over time, assuming the silicate core was hydrated early in Titan's history and is dehydrating over time. The original model presented in Castillo-Rogez and Lunine (2010) was motivated by a Cassini-derived moment of inertia (Iess et al., 2010) for Titan too large to be accommodated by classical fully differentiated models in which an anhydrous silicate core was overlain by a water ice (with possible perched ocean) mantle. Our model consisted of a silicate core still in the process of dehydrating today, a situation made possible by the leaching of radiogenic potassium from the silicates into the liquid water ocean. The crust of Titan was assumed to be pure water ice I. The model was consistent with the moment of inertia of Titan, but neglected the presence of large amounts of methane in the upper crust invoked to explain methane's persistence at present and through geologic time (Tobie et al. 2006). We have updated our model with such a feature. We have also improved our modeling with a better physical model for the dehydration of antigorite and other hydrated minerals. In particular our modeling now simulates heat advection resulting from water circulation (e.g., Seipold and Schilling 2003), rather than the purely conductive heat transfer regime assumed in the first version of our model. The modeling proceeds as in Castillo-Rogez and Lunine (2010), with the thermal conductivity of the methane clathrate crust rather than that of ice I. The former is several times lower than that of the latter, and the two have rather different temperature dependences (English and Tse, 2009). The crust turns out to have essentially no bearing on the temperature of the silicate core and hence the timing of dehydration, but it profoundly affects the thickness of the high-pressure ice layer beneath the ocean. Indeed, with the insulating methane clathrate crust, there must be a liquid water ocean beneath the methane clathrate

  20. Color characterization of Arctic Biological Soil Crusts

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mele, Giacono; Gargiulo, Laura; Ventura, Stefano

    2015-04-01

    Global climate change makes large areas lacking the vegetation coverage continuously available to primary colonization by biological soil crusts (BSCs). This happens in many different environments, included high mountains and Polar Regions where new areas can become available due to glaciers retreat. Presence of BSCs leads to the stabilization of the substrate and to a possible development of protosoil, with an increase of fertility and resilience against erosion. Polar BSCs can exhibit many different proportions of cyanobacteria, algae, microfungi, lichens, and bryophytes which induce a large variability of the crust morphology and specific ecosystem functions. An effective and easy way for identifying the BSCs in the field would be very useful to rapidly recognize their development stage and help in understanding the overall impact of climate change in the delicate polar environments. Color analysis has long been applied as an easily measurable physical attribute of soil closely correlated with pedogenic processes and some soil functions. In this preliminary work we used RGB and CIE-L*a*b* color models in order to physically characterize fourteen different BSCs identified in Spitsbergen island of Svalbard archipelago in Arctic Ocean at 79° north latitude. We found that the "redness parameter "a*" of CIE-L*a*b* model was well correlated to the succession process of some BSCs at given geomorphology condition. Most of color parameters showed, moreover, a great potential to be correlated to photosynthetic activity and other ecosystem functions of BSCs.

  1. Evolution of the earth's crust: Evidence from comparative planetology

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lowman, P. D., Jr.

    1973-01-01

    Geochemical data and orbital photography from Apollo, Mariner, and Venera missions were combined with terrestrial geologic evidence to study the problem of why the earth has two contrasting types of crust (oceanic and continental). The following outline of terrestrial crustal evolution is proposed. A global crust of intermediate to acidic composition, high in aluminum, was formed by igneous processes early in the earth's history; portions survive in some shield areas as granitic and anorthositic gneisses. This crust was fractured by major impacts and tectonic processes, followed by basaltic eruptions analogous to the lunar maria and the smooth plains of the north hemisphere of Mars. Seafloor spreading and subduction ensued, during which portions of the early continental crust and sediments derived therefrom were thrust under the remaining continental crust. The process is exemplified today in regions such as the Andes/Peru-Chile trench system. Underplating may have been roughly concentric, and the higher radioactive element content of the underplated sialic material could thus eventually cause concentric zones of regional metamorphism and magmatism.

  2. Adjoint tomography of the southern California crust.

    PubMed

    Tape, Carl; Liu, Qinya; Maggi, Alessia; Tromp, Jeroen

    2009-08-21

    Using an inversion strategy based on adjoint methods, we developed a three-dimensional seismological model of the southern California crust. The resulting model involved 16 tomographic iterations, which required 6800 wavefield simulations and a total of 0.8 million central processing unit hours. The new crustal model reveals strong heterogeneity, including local changes of +/-30% with respect to the initial three-dimensional model provided by the Southern California Earthquake Center. The model illuminates shallow features such as sedimentary basins and compositional contrasts across faults. It also reveals crustal features at depth that aid in the tectonic reconstruction of southern California, such as subduction-captured oceanic crustal fragments. The new model enables more realistic and accurate assessments of seismic hazard. PMID:19696349

  3. Continental crust under the southern Porcupine Seabight west of Ireland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Makris, J.; Egloff, R.; Jacob, A. W. B.; Mohr, P.; Murphy, T.; Ryan, P.

    1988-08-01

    Two new seismic refraction/wide-angle reflection profiles demonstrate that the crust beneath the southern Porcupine Seabight, out to water depths in excess of 4000 m, is of continental type. They also reveal the rifted margin of the Porcupine basin on its eastern side. Crustal thickness under the Seabight, inclusive of sediments which are up to 6 km thick, decreases from 23 km in the east to about 10 km at a sharp continent-ocean transition in the west.

  4. Late Triassic Batang Group arc volcanic rocks in the northeastern margin of Qiangtang terrane, northern Tibet: partial melting of juvenile crust and implications for Paleo-Tethys ocean subduction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhao, Shao-Qing; Tan, Jun; Wei, Jun-Hao; Tian, Ning; Zhang, Dao-Han; Liang, Sheng-Nan; Chen, Jia-Jie

    2015-03-01

    The Batang Group (BTG) volcanic rocks in the Zhiduo area, with NW-trending outcrops along the northeastern margin of the Qiangtang terrane (northern Tibet), are mainly composed of volcaniclastic rocks, dacite and rhyolite. Major and trace element, Sr and Nd isotope, zircon U-Pb and Hf isotope data are presented for the BTG dacites. Laser ablation inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry zircon U-Pb dating constrains the timing of volcanic eruption as Late Triassic (221 ± 1 Ma). Major and trace element geochemistry shows that the BTG volcanic rocks are classified as calc-alkaline series. All samples are enriched in large-ion lithophile elements and light rare earth elements with negative-slightly positive Eu anomalies (Eu/Eu* = 0.47-1.15), and depleted in high field strength elements and heavy rare earth elements. In addition, these rocks possess less radiogenic Sr [(87Sr/86Sr) i = 0.7047-0.7078], much radiogenic Nd (ɛNd( t) = -4.2 to -1.3) and Hf (ɛHf( t) = 4.0-6.6) isotopes, suggesting that they probably originated from partial melting of a crustal source containing a mantle-derived juvenile component. The inferred magma was assimilated by crustal materials during ascending and experienced significant fractional crystallization. By combining previously published and the new data, we propose that the BTG volcanic rocks were genetically related to southwestward subduction of the Ganzi-Litang ocean (a branch of Paleo-Tethys) in the northeastern margin of the Qiangtang terrane. Given the coeval arc-affinity magmatic rocks in the region, we envisage that the Ganzi-Litang ocean may extend from the Zhongdian arc through the Yidun terrane to the Zhiduo area, probably even further northwest to the Tuotuohe area.

  5. Sr and Nd isotopic variations in ferromanganese crusts from the Central Pacific: Implications for age and source provenance

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Futa, K.; Peterman, Z.E.; Hein, J.R.

    1988-01-01

    Isotopic analyses of two hydrogenetic ferromanganese (Fe-Mn) crusts from volcanic edifices in the central Pacific Ocean reveal systematic variations in 87Sr 86Sr and 143Nd 144Nd, with both ratios decreasing as a function of depth into the Fe-Mn crusts. Leaching experiments suggest that Sr in the crusts is contained in at least two discrete sites. A loosely bound Sr, dominated by modern marine Sr, is removed by leaching with a 10 percent acetic acid solution. The 87Sr 86Sr ratio of the residue is significantly less than the 87Sr 86Sr ratio of the unleached material. The Sr-isotope ratios of leached samples are compared with the temporal variation in seawater to provide ages for layers within the Fe-Mn crusts. These data suggest that the oldest crust layers began to accrete in the early to middle Miocene. Correlated to the 87Sr 86Sr variations, 143Nd 144Nd ratios suggest that the Nd-isotope composition of central Pacific Ocean seawater also changed systematically over this time interval, or that the Fe-Mn crusts simply incorporated Nd from various parts of an isotopieally heterogeneous ocean as the crusts were carried along with the oceanic plate. In contrast to the layered ferromanganese crust, the phosphatized volcaniclastic substrates have Sr and Nd isotope compositions that are consistent with their volcanic origin. ?? 1988.

  6. Profiling planktonic foraminiferal crust formation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Steinhardt, Juliane; de Nooijer, Lennart L. J.; Brummer, Geert-Jan; Reichart, Gert-Jan

    2015-07-01

    Planktonic foraminifera migrate vertically through the water column during their life, thereby growing and calcifying over a range of depth-associated conditions. Some species form a calcite veneer, crust, or cortex at the end of their lifecycle. This additional calcite layer may vary in structure, composition, and thickness, potentially accounting for most of their total shell mass and thereby dominating the element and isotope signature of the whole shell. Here we apply laser ablation ICP-MS depth profiling to assess variability in thickness and Mg/Ca composition of shell walls of three encrusting species derived from sediment traps. Compositionally, Mg/Ca is significantly lower in the crusts of Neogloboquadrina dutertrei and Globorotalia scitula, as well as in the cortex of Pulleniatina obliquiloculata, independent of the species-specific Mg/Ca of their lamellar calcite shell. Wall thickness accounts for nearly half of the total thickness in both crustal species and nearly a third in cortical P. obliquiloculata, regardless of their initial shell wall thickness. Crust thickness and crustal Mg/Ca decreases toward the younger chambers in N. dutertrei and to a lesser extent, also in G. scitula. In contrast, the cortex of P. obliquiloculata shows a nearly constant thickness and uniform Mg/Ca through the complete chamber wall. Patterns in thickness and Mg/Ca of the crust indicate that temperature is not the dominant factor controlling crust formation. Instead, we present a depth-resolved model explaining compositional differences within individuals and between successive chambers as well as compositional heterogeneity of the crust and lamellar calcite in all three species studied here.

  7. Cenozoic and Precambrian Accessory Zircons in Gabbroids of the 3rd layer of Oceanic Crust in Axial Part of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, 6oN: U-Pb SIMS SHRIMP Data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bortnikov, N. S.; Zinger, T. F.; Sharkov, E. V.; Lepekhina, E. N.; Antonov, A. V.; Sergeev, S. A.

    2008-12-01

    ±44 Ma old; sample L-1097/3: 2714± 50 Ma and 2880± 18 Ma; sample I-1069/19 (troctolite): 87±7 Ma, 499±15 Ma, 657±13 Ma and 3120±27 Ma old. The most of samples contain zircons of both groups, which evidently were contained in the same portions of the basaltic melt. Their origin could be related to partial capture of materials of different ages and origin from the "graveyard" of subducted slabs by the mantle plume which ascended from the CMB. Detailed study of rocks from exhumed slabs, which are represented by ultrahigh-pressure complexes showed that zircon can be preserved in metastable status (Ernst, 1999). During ascent, the plume material and incorporated slab fragments were in the solid state. They melted when the plume head reached its buoyancy level and began to spread over the oceanic lithosphere. Zircon, as the highest temperature mineral, was last to melt and dissolve in the basaltic magma. Therefore, its relicts can preserved in the melt. Presented data indicate that zircon can be used as an important (and, possibly, sole) source of information on the composition of deep mantle beneath modern oceans.

  8. Seismic reflection images of a near-axis melt sill within the lower crust at the Juan de Fuca ridge.

    PubMed

    Canales, J Pablo; Nedimović, Mladen R; Kent, Graham M; Carbotte, Suzanne M; Detrick, Robert S

    2009-07-01

    The oceanic crust extends over two-thirds of the Earth's solid surface, and is generated along mid-ocean ridges from melts derived from the upwelling mantle. The upper and middle crust are constructed by dyking and sea-floor eruptions originating from magma accumulated in mid-crustal lenses at the spreading axis, but the style of accretion of the lower oceanic crust is actively debated. Models based on geological and petrological data from ophiolites propose that the lower oceanic crust is accreted from melt sills intruded at multiple levels between the Moho transition zone (MTZ) and the mid-crustal lens, consistent with geophysical studies that suggest the presence of melt within the lower crust. However, seismic images of molten sills within the lower crust have been elusive. Until now, only seismic reflections from mid-crustal melt lenses and sills within the MTZ have been described, suggesting that melt is efficiently transported through the lower crust. Here we report deep crustal seismic reflections off the southern Juan de Fuca ridge that we interpret as originating from a molten sill at present accreting the lower oceanic crust. The sill sits 5-6 km beneath the sea floor and 850-900 m above the MTZ, and is located 1.4-3.2 km off the spreading axis. Our results provide evidence for the existence of low-permeability barriers to melt migration within the lower section of modern oceanic crust forming at intermediate-to-fast spreading rates, as inferred from ophiolite studies. PMID:19571883

  9. Nature of crust in the central Red Sea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mitchell, Neil C.; Park, Yongcheol

    2014-07-01

    A transition between continental crust in the northern Red Sea and oceanic crust in the southern Red Sea coincides broadly with a southward increase in plate tectonic separation rate and with a decrease in upper mantle seismic velocity. We re-evaluate here the nature of crust in the intervening central Red Sea with the results of legacy seismic refraction experiments and recently released marine gravity anomalies derived from satellite altimeter measurements. In the refraction data, collected east of Thetis Deep, velocities of 6.6-6.9 km s- 1 of a deep refracting layer, which are similar to measured velocities of unaltered gabbro samples, extend outside the deep to 65 km from the axis. The new version of the marine gravity field reveals trends crossing the central Red Sea. Whereas some of them connect with major lineaments in the surrounding African-Arabian shield, those around Thetis Deep die out towards the coastlines. They can be paired across the ridge and lie slightly oblique to plate motions, as is typical of oceanic fracture zones or non-transform discontinuities migrating away from hotspots. Taken together these observations support the view that an oceanic rather than extended continental crust underlies this part of the central Red Sea. The crestal mountains around the median valleys of slow-spreading ridges are typically 500-1000 m lower at spreading discontinuities. Around Thetis Deep, the similar pattern in the gravity field to those of slow-spreading ridges suggests that the crestal mountains may variably block or impede flowage of evaporites towards the spreading centre, whereas the discontinuities may mark areas where flowage is unobstructed. Limited multibeam data collected in transits outside Thetis Deep show oblique fabrics as expected from these predicted movements.

  10. Co-rich Mn crusts from the Magellan Seamount cluster: the long journey through time

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Glasby, Geoffrey P.; Ren, Xiangwen; Shi, Xuefa; Pulyaeva, Irina A.

    2007-10-01

    The Magellan seamounts began forming as large submarine shield volcanoes south of the equator during the Cretaceous. These volcanoes formed as a cluster on the small Pacific plate in a period when tectonic stress was absent. Thermal subsidence of the seafloor led to sinking of these volcanoes and the formation of guyots as the seamounts crossed the equatorial South Pacific (10-0°S) sequentially and ocean surface temperatures became too high for calcareous organisms to survive. Guyot formation was completed between about 59 and 45 Ma and the guyots became phosphatized at about 39-34 and 27-21 Ma. Ferromanganese crusts began formation as proto-crusts on the seamounts and guyots of the Magellan Seamount cluster towards the end of the Cretaceous up to 55 Ma after the formation of the seamounts themselves. The chemical composition of these crusts evolved over time in a series of steps in response to changes in global climate and ocean circulation. The great thickness of these crusts (up to 15-20 cm) reflects their very long period of growth. The high Co contents of the outer parts of the crusts are a consequence of the increasing deep circulation of the ocean and the resulting deepening of the oxygen minimum zone with time. Growth of the Co-rich Mn crusts in the Magellan Seamount cluster can be considered to be the culmination of a long journey through time.

  11. Statistics of Magnetar Crusts Magnetoemission

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kondratyev, V. N.; Korovina, Yu. V.

    2016-05-01

    Soft repeating gamma-ray (SGR) bursts are considered as magnetoemission of crusts of magnetars (ultranamagnetized neutron stars). It is shown that all the SGR burst observations can be described and systematized within randomly jumping interacting moments model including quantum fluctuations and internuclear magnetic interaction in an inhomogeneous crusty nuclear matter.

  12. Synchronous oceanic spreading and continental rifting in West Antarctica

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Davey, F. J.; Granot, R.; Cande, S. C.; Stock, J. M.; Selvans, M.; Ferraccioli, F.

    2016-06-01

    Magnetic anomalies associated with new ocean crust formation in the Adare Basin off north-western Ross Sea (43-26 Ma) can be traced directly into the Northern Basin that underlies the adjacent morphological continental shelf, implying a continuity in the emplacement of oceanic crust. Steep gravity gradients along the margins of the Northern Basin, particularly in the east, suggest that little extension and thinning of continental crust occurred before it ruptured and the new oceanic crust formed, unlike most other continental rifts and the Victoria Land Basin further south. A preexisting weak crust and localization of strain by strike-slip faulting are proposed as the factors allowing the rapid rupture of continental crust.

  13. The Lunar Highland Crust: Complex or Simple Petrogenesis?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Taylor, S. R.; Koeberl, C.

    1992-07-01

    Following the general acceptance of the magma ocean hypothesis, models for the evolution of the highland crust of the Moon have become increasingly complicated, just as religious and philosophical systems have always diverged from the teachings of their founder. Three components make up the highland crust: the ferroan anorthosite, which crystallizes early from the magma ocean, depletes the deep interior in Eu, and adds a large Eu enrichment to the crust. KREEP, choked with incompatible trace elements from the residual 2% melt resulting from the crystallization of the magma ocean is pervasively mixed into the crust by cratering. KREEP adds a deep Eu depletion, with high abundances of the other REE parallel to those of the ferroan anorthosites. The third well-recognized component is the Mg Suite, commonly about 100-200 Ma younger, with intermediate REE patterns parallel to the ferroan anorthosites and KREEP (Fig. 1). If the highland crust were formed from many igneous events, in which the Mg suite comes from several separate plutons, crystallization and separation of mineral phases would surely result in REE patterns with diverse slopes, as is observed on Earth. This does not seem to have occurred. For example, the deep-seated troctolite 76535 has a well-established age of 4236 +- 15 Ma (Premo and Tatsumoto, 1992), much younger than the 4440 +- 20 Ma crystallization age of the lunar crust (Carlson and Lugmair, 1988), and the 4400-Ma closure ages for the source regions of the lunar mare basalts. If 76535 formed as a separate intrusion by partial melting during "serial magmatism" 200 Ma after the ferroan anorthosites crystallized, why is its REE pattern parallel to those of all the other highland rocks (Fig. 1)? Two explanations seem viable. The first possibility is that a diverse crust may have been homogenized by cratering. Alternatively, only one major igneous event produced the lunar highland crust. All subsequent complexity in ages and production of "igneous

  14. Origin of the earth's ocean basins

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Frey, H.

    1977-01-01

    The earth's original ocean basins are proposed to be mare-type basins produced 4 billion y.a. by the flux of asteroid-sized objects responsible for the lunar mare basins. Scaling upward from the observed number of lunar basins for the greater capture cross-section and impact velocity of the earth indicates that at least 50% of an original global crust would have been converted to basin topography. These basins were flooded by basaltic liquids in times short compared to the isostatic adjustment time for the basin. The modern crustal dichotomy (60% oceanic, 40% continental crust) was established early in the history of the earth, making possible the later onset of plate tectonic processes. These later processes have subsequently reworked, in several cycles, principally the oceanic parts of the earth's crust, changing the configuration of the continents in the process. Ocean basins (and oceans themselves) may be rare occurrences on planets in other star systems.

  15. Origin of the earth's ocean basins

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Frex, H.

    1977-01-01

    The earth's original ocean basins were mare-type basins produced 4 billion years ago by the flux of asteroid-sized objects responsible for the lunar mare basins. Scaling upwards from the observed number of lunar basins for the greater capture cross-section and impact velocity of the Earth indicates that at least 50 percent of an original global crust would have been converted to basin topography. These basins were flooded by basaltic liquids in times short compared to the isostatic adjustment time for the basin. The modern crustal dichotomy (60 percent oceanic, 40 percent continental crust) was established early in the history of the earth, making possible the later onset of plate tectonic processes. These later processes have subsequently reworked, in several cycles, principally the oceanic parts of the earth's crust, changing the configuration of the continents in the process. Ocean basins (and oceans themselves) may be rare occurrences on planets in other star systems.

  16. Osmium isotope stratigraphy of a marine ferromanganese crust

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Klemm, V.; Levasseur, S.; Frank, M.; Hein, J.R.; Halliday, A.N.

    2005-01-01

    Ferromanganese crusts provide records of long term change in ocean circulation and continental weathering. However, calibrating their age prior to 10 Ma has been entirely based on empirical growth rate models using Co concentrations, which have inherently large uncertainties and fail to detect hiatuses and erosional events. We present a new method for dating these crusts by measuring their osmium (Os) isotope record and matching it to the well-known marine Os isotope evolution of the past 80 Ma. The well-characterised crust CD29-2 from the central Pacific, was believed to define a record of paleooceanographic change from 50 Ma. Previous growth rate estimates based on the Co method are consistent with the new Os isotope stratigraphy but the dating was grossly inaccurate due to long hiatuses that are now detectable. The new chronology shows that it in fact started growing prior to 70 Ma in the late Cretaceous and stopped growing or was eroded between 13.5 and 47 Ma. With this new technique it is now possible to exploit the full potential of the oceanographic and climatic records stored in Fe-Mn crusts. ?? 2005 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  17. Collescipoli - An unusual fusion crust glass. [chondrite

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Nozette, S.

    1979-01-01

    An electron microprobe study was conducted on glass fragments taken from the fusion crust and an internal glass-lined vein in the H-5 chondrite Collescipoli. Microprobe analyses of the glasses revealed an unusual fusion crust composition, and analyses of glass from inside the meteorite showed compositions expected for a melt of an H-group chondrite. Studies of fusion crusts by previous workers, e.g., Krinov and Ramdohr, showed that fusion crusts contain large amounts of magnetite and other oxidized minerals. The Collescipoli fusion crusts do contain these minerals, but they also contain relatively large amounts of reduced metal, sulphide, and a sodium-rich glass. This study seems to indicate that Collescipoli preserved an early type of fusion crust. Oxidation was incomplete in the fusion crust melt that drained into a crack. From this study it is concluded that fusion crust formation does not invariably result in complete oxidation of metal and sulphide phases.

  18. Relamination and the Differentiation of Continental Crust

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hacker, B. R.; Kelemen, P. B.; Behn, M. D.

    2014-12-01

    Most immature crust must be refined to attain the composition of mature continental crust. This refining may take the form of weathering, delamination, or relamination. Although delamination and relamination both call upon gravity-driven separation of felsic rock into the crust and mafic rock into the mantle, delamination involves foundering of rock from the base of active magmatic arcs, whereas relamination involves the underplating/diapirism of subducted sediment, arc crust, and continent crust to the base of the crust in any convergence zone. Relamination may be more efficient than lower crustal foundering at generating large volumes of material with the major- and trace-element composition of continental crust, and may have operated rapidly enough to have refined the composition of the entire continental crust over the lifetime of Earth. If so, felsic rocks could form much of the lower crust, and the bulk continental crust may be more silica rich than generally considered. Seismic wavespeeds require that only ~10-20% of the lowermost 5-15 km of continental crust must be mafic; combined heat-flow and wavespeed constraints permit continental lower crust to have 50 to 65 wt% SiO2.

  19. Uncommon behavior of plagioclase and the ancient lunar crust

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nekvasil, Hanna; Lindsley, Donald H.; DiFrancesco, Nicholas; Catalano, Tristan; Coraor, Aron E.; Charlier, Bernard

    2015-12-01

    Calcic plagioclase, the dominant mineral of the anorthositic lunar crust, fails to show the Na enrichment during cooling that is typical of magmatic plagioclase. We show that this enigmatic behavior may arise during fractionation of highly calcic plagioclase at depths greater than ~70 km in the lunar magma ocean because of the development of a negative azeotropic configuration at high anorthite contents that impedes and may even reverse the standard plagioclase albite enrichment with dropping temperature. This result supports a high-pressure origin of this plagioclase consistent with the lunar magma ocean model. It also provides a new mechanism for forming lunar lithologies with sodic plagioclase from a highly Na-depleted Moon through gravitational settling of spinel and refines the compositional characteristics of the late stage residual liquids of the lunar magma ocean.

  20. Granitic Perspectives on the Generation and Secular Evolution of the Continental Crust

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kemp, A. I. S.; Hawkesworth, C. J.

    2003-12-01

    Every geologist is acquainted with the principle of "uniformitarianism," which holds that present-day processes are the key to those that operated in the past. But the extent this applies to the processes driving the growth and differentiation of the Earth's continental crust remains a matter of debate. Unlike its dense oceanic counterpart, which is recycled back into the mantle by subduction within 200 Ma (see Chapter 3.13), the continental crust comprises buoyant quartzofeldspathic materials and is difficult to destroy by subduction. The continental crust is, therefore, the principal record of how conditions on the Earth have changed, and how processes of crust generation have evolved through geological time. It preserves evidence of secular variation in crustal compositions, and thus the way in which the crust has formed throughout Earth's history. Exploring the nature and origin of these variations is the focus of this chapter.Continental rocks are highly differentiated, and so the crust is enriched in incompatible components compared to the primeval chondritic composition (see Chapter 3.01). Of these, water is perhaps the most relevant, both for the origin and evolution of life, and also for many models of crust generation and differentiation. Similarly, the mass of continental crust is just 0.57% of the silicate Earth, and yet it contains ˜35% of the potassium (using the crustal composition estimates in Table 1). Continental rocks comprise the buoyant shell that was once thought to float on a basaltic substratum, inferred from the wide distribution of chemically similar continental flood basalts (von Cotta, 1858). The links with the adjacent oceans were perhaps unclear, "the greatest mountains confront the widest oceans" ( Dana, 1873). Yet, it has long been argued that the rock that has the most similar composition to the average continental crust, andesite, may be generated by fractional crystallization of basalt ( Daly (1914) and Bowen (1928); but see the

  1. Magnetic structure of the crust

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wasilewski, P.

    1985-01-01

    The bibuniqueness aspect of geophysical interpretation must be constrained by geological insight to limit the range of theoretically possible models. An additional step in depth understanding of the relationship between rock magnetization and geological circumstances on a grand scale is required. Views about crustal structure and the distribution of lithologies suggests a complex situation with lateral and vertical variability at all levels in the crust. Volcanic, plutonic, and metamorphic processes together with each of the observed anomalies. Important questions are addressed: (1) the location of the magnetic bottom; (2) whether the source is a discrete one or are certain parts of the crust cumulatively contributing to the overall magnetization; (3) if the anomaly to some recognizable surface expression is localized, how to arrive at a geologically realistic model incorporating magnetization contrasts which are realistic; (3) in the way the primary mineralogies are altered by metamorphism and the resulting magnetic contracts; (4) the effects of temperature and pressure on magnetization.

  2. Chronology of early lunar crust

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Dasch, E. J.; Nyquist, L. E.; Ryder, G.

    1988-01-01

    The chronology of lunar rocks is summarized. The oldest pristine (i.e., lacking meteoritic contamination of admixed components) lunar rock, recently dated with Sm-Nd by Lugmair, is a ferroan anorthosite, with an age of 4.44 + 0.02 Ga. Ages of Mg-suite rocks (4.1 to 4.5 Ga) have large uncertainties, so that age differences between lunar plutonic rock suites cannot yet be resolved. Most mare basalts crystallized between 3.1 and 3.9 Ga. The vast bulk of the lunar crust, therefore, formed before the oldest preserved terrestrial rocks. If the Moon accreted at 4.56 Ga, then 120 Ma may have elapsed before lunar crust was formed.

  3. Magnetization of the Lunar Crust

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Carley, R. A.; Whaler, K. A.; Purucker, M. E.; Halekas, J. S.

    2012-01-01

    Magnetic fields measured by the satellite Lunar Prospector show large scale features resulting from remanently magnetized crust. Vector data synthesized at satellite altitude from a spherical harmonic model of the lunar crustal field, and the radial component of the magnetometer data, have been used to produce spatially continuous global magnetization models for the lunar crust. The magnetization is expressed in terms of localized basis functions, with a magnetization solution selected having the smallest root-mean square magnetization for a given fit to the data, controlled by a damping parameter. Suites of magnetization models for layers with thicknesses between 10 and 50 km are able to reproduce much of the input data, with global misfits of less than 0.5 nT (within the uncertainties of the data), and some surface field estimates. The magnetization distributions show robust magnitudes for a range of model thicknesses and damping parameters, however the magnetization direction is unconstrained. These global models suggest that magnetized sources of the lunar crust can be represented by a 30 km thick magnetized layer. Average magnetization values in magnetized regions are 30-40 mA/m, similar to the measured magnetizations of the Apollo samples and significantly weaker than crustal magnetizations for Mars and the Earth. These are the first global magnetization models for the Moon, providing lower bounds on the magnitude of lunar crustal magnetization in the absence of multiple sample returns, and can be used to predict the crustal contribution to the lunar magnetic field at a particular location.

  4. Seismic imaging of deep crustal melt sills beneath Costa Rica suggests a method for the formation of the Archean continental crust

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Harmon, Nicholas; Rychert, Catherine A.

    2015-11-01

    Continental crust formed billions of years ago but cannot be explained by a simple evolution of primary mantle magmas. A multi-step process is required that likely includes re-melting of wet metamorphosed basalt at high pressures. Such a process could occur at depth in oceanic crust that has been thickened by a large magmatic event. In Central America, variations in geologically inferred, pre-existing oceanic crustal thickness beneath the arc provides an excellent opportunity to study its effect on magma storage, re-melting of meta-basalts, and the potential for creating continental crust. We use surface waves derived from ambient noise tomography to image 6% radially anisotropic structures in the thickened oceanic plateau crust of Costa Rica that likely represent deep crustal melt sills. In Nicaragua, where the arc is forming on thinner oceanic crust, we do not image these deep crustal melt sills. The presence of these deep sills correlates with more felsic arc outputs from the Costa Rican Arc suggesting pre-existing thickened crust accelerates processing of primary basalts to continental compositions. In the Archean, reprocessing thickened oceanic crust by subsequent hydrated hotspot volcanism or subduction zone volcanism may have similarly enhanced formation of early continental crust. This mechanism may have been particularly important if subduction did not initiate until 3 Ga.

  5. Core and early crust formation on Mars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Golabek, G. J.; Keller, T.; Gerya, T.; Tackley, P. J.; Connolly, J.; Zhu, G.

    2010-12-01

    distributed impactors. Additionally, we explore the effect of one giant impactor core on the planetary evolution. Results indicate that the presence of a large impactor core induces hemispherically asymmetrical core formation. The amplitude of shear heating anomalies often exceeds the solidus of primitive mantle material and thus, the formation of a considerable amount of silicate melt is observed. The resulting temperature field after core formation is then read into the mantle convection code STAYY. The hemispherical magma ocean induced by one late giant impactor favours a dichotomous crust formation during and shortly after core formation. Afterwards, the extraction of excess heat produced by the sinking of the giant impactor through the mantle leads to a localized region of massive magmatism, comparable to Tharsis, which is sustained during later evolution by a single plume forming beneath the province. The rest of the mantle is dominated by a sluggish convection pattern with limited crust formation that preserves the early formed dichotomous crustal structure until recent time. References [1] Nimmo, F. et al., Nature, 453, 1220-1223, 2008. [2] Keller, T. & Tackley, P.J., Icarus, 202, 429-443, 2009. [3] Norman, M.D., Meteorit. Planet. Sci., 34, 439-449, 1999.

  6. Seismic structure of ultra-slow spreading crust formed at the Mid-Cayman Spreading Centre, Caribbean Sea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Grevemeyer, I.; Merz, M.; Dannowski, A.; Papenberg, C. A.; Hayman, N. W.; Van Avendonk, H. J.; Peirce, C.

    2015-12-01

    About 57% of the Earth's surface is covered by oceanic crust and new ocean floor is continuously created along the ~60.000 km long mid-ocean ridge (MOR) system. About 25% of the MOR spread at an ultra-slow spreading rate of <20 mm/yr. At ultra-slow spreading rates the melt supply to the ridge is thought to dramatically decrease and crustal thickness decreases to a thickness of <6 km. However, we know little about the processes shaping crust at reduced spreading rates. A formation of crust from a magma chamber would suggest the creation of a well stratified crust, with an extrusive upper crust (layer 2) and a lower gabbroic crust (lower 3) and a well-defined crust-mantle boundary and hence a seismic Moho. In contrast, decompressional melting without formation of a magma chamber would support a crustal structure where seismic velocities change gradually from values typical of crustal rocks to mantle rocks. Here, we report initial results from a survey from the ultra-slow spreading Cayman Spreading Centre in the Caribbean Sea, sampling mature crust along a flowline from both conjugated ridge flanks. The seismic refraction and wide-angle survey was conducted using ocean-bottom-seismometers from Germany, the UK, and Texas and a 5500 cubic-inch airgun-array source towed by the German research vessel METEOR in April 2015. Typical crustal velocities support a thin crust of 3 to 5 km thickness. However, a well-defined Moho boundary was not observed. Thus, velocities change gradually from crustal-type velocities (<7.2 km/s) to values of 7.6-7.8 km/s, supporting mantle rocks. We suggest that reduced mantle velocities indicate gabbroic intrusions within the mantle rather than indicating serpentinization.

  7. Orientation of in situ stresses in the oceanic crust

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Newmark, R.L.; Zoback, M.D.; Anderson, R.N.

    1984-01-01

    Two in situ measurements of principal stress directions have been made in DSDP Holes 504B, south of the Costa Rica Rift on the Nazca plate, and 597C, west of the East Pacific Rise on the Pacific plate. In both cases, the orientations of in situ principal stresses determined from borehole breakouts are consistent with the stress directions inferred from intraplate earthquakes located near the sites. ?? 1984 Nature Publishing Group.

  8. Ductile extensional shear zones in the lower crust of a passive margin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Clerc, Camille; Jolivet, Laurent; Ringenbach, Jean-Claude

    2015-12-01

    We describe and interpret an unpublished set of ION Geophysical seismic reflection profile showing strong organized seismic reflectors at the base of the continental crust of the Uruguayan volcanic rifted margin. We distinguish two main groups of reflectors in the lowermost continental crust. A first group, at depths ranging from 32 km below the continent to 16 km in the continent-ocean transition, comprises reflectors continuous over tens of kilometers, peculiarly visible near the mantle-crust boundary. A second group of reflectors dipping toward the ESE (oceanward) is widely distributed in the lower crust. These reflectors are slightly curved and tend to merge and become sub-parallel with the first group of reflectors. Together they draw the pattern of thick shallow-dipping top-to-the continent shear zones affecting the lower continental crust. Such sense of shear is also consistent with the continentward dip of the normal faults that control the deposition of the thick syn-tectonic volcanic formations (SDR). A major portion of the continental crust behaved in a ductile manner and recorded a component of top-to-the continent penetrative simple shear during rifting indicative of a lateral movement between the upper crust and the mantle.

  9. History of the earth's crust

    SciTech Connect

    Eicher, D.L.; Mcalester, A.L.; Rottman, M.L.

    1984-01-01

    The history of the earth's crust since its formation 4.6 Gyr ago is traced in an introductory textbook, with consideration of the global climate and the general outline of biological evolution. The methodology of paleogeology is introduced, and the origin of the solar system, the accumulation and differentiation of the earth, the beginnings of life, and the history of the moon are examined. Separate chapters are then devoted to the Precambrian, Paleozoic, Mesozoic, and Cenozoic earth. Photographs, maps, diagrams, and drawings are provided. 49 references.

  10. Oceanic crustal structure from seismic measurements

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Grevemeyer, Ingo

    2014-05-01

    The primary source of our knowledge of the structure of oceanic crust is the interpretation of seismic refraction experiments. The first classic compilation of seismic data of Raitt (in The Sea, 1963) subdivided the crust into three distinct layers, which have formed the reference basis for seismic profiles for the last decades. Today we know that the upper igneous crust (layer 2) is a region of strong velocity gradients, while the lower crust (layer 3) is relatively homogeneous, although it does show an increase in velocity with depth. Further, the upper crust has been sub-divided the in Layer 2A, composed of extruded basalts, and Layer 2B, formed by basaltic sheeted dikes. The lower crust, or Layer 3, often called the "oceanic layer", is inferred to be composed of gabbros. As crust ages, sediments accumulate on the igneous basement, creating layer 1. The velocity structure of the oceanic crust formed by seafloor spreading is inherently related to the process of mantle melting. The amount of melt produced by adiabatic decompression of the mantle and the composition of the resultant igneous crust depend on the temperature, composition, and water content of the mantle source. Normal oceanic crust with a thickness of 6-7 km and Mid-Ocean Ridge Basalt (MORB) like composition is the result of decompressional melting of a mantle source composed of dry pyrolite with a mantle temperature of ~1300°C. Thus, crustal formation occurs as passive response to seafloor spreading (i.e., passive upwelling). Higher mantle temperatures or compositional anomalies may cause buoyant upwelling of the mantle (i.e. active upwelling). The combination of active upwelling and higher mantle temperatures, or the presence of a more fertile mantle source, will produce larger amounts of melting and, likely, a thicker crust. Steady state mantle melting models can be used to investigate the relationship between mantle temperature, upwelling, and mantle composition on one hand and lower crustal

  11. Intra-oceanic crustal seismic reflecting zone below the dipping reflectors on Lofoten margin

    SciTech Connect

    Sellevoll, M.A.; Mokhtari, M.

    1988-07-01

    Multichannel seismic reflection measurements off Lofoten, Northern Norway, show an uneven, discontinuous reflector within the crystalline oceanic crust at a depth of 7-8 s (two-way travel time). This intra-oceanic crustal reflector is observed seaward as well as beneath sub-basement dipping reflectors, which are of disputed (oceanic or continental) origin. These observations indicate that the dipping reflectors are an integrated part of the oceanic crust.

  12. Segmentation of mid-ocean ridges

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Schouten, Hans; Klitgord, Kim D.; Whitehead, J.A.

    1985-01-01

    Studies of mid-ocean ridges in the Pacific and Atlantic oceans show that the volcanism that forms the oceanic crust along the spreading-plate boundaries is concentrated at regular intervals related to spreading rate. This observation and a new calculation for a Rayleigh-Taylor type of gravitational instability of a partially molten mantle region growing under spreading centres yield reasonable estimates of upper mantle viscosities. ?? 1985 Nature Publishing Group.

  13. Pulsar glitches: the crust is not enough.

    PubMed

    Andersson, N; Glampedakis, K; Ho, W C G; Espinoza, C M

    2012-12-14

    Pulsar glitches are traditionally viewed as a manifestation of vortex dynamics associated with a neutron superfluid reservoir confined to the inner crust of the star. In this Letter we show that the nondissipative entrainment coupling between the neutron superfluid and the nuclear lattice leads to a less mobile crust superfluid, effectively reducing the moment of inertia associated with the angular momentum reservoir. Combining the latest observational data for prolific glitching pulsars with theoretical results for the crust entrainment, we find that the required superfluid reservoir exceeds that available in the crust. This challenges our understanding of the glitch phenomenon, and we discuss possible resolutions to the problem. PMID:23368300

  14. Composition of the Primary Crust of Mars: Observations of Deeply Excavated Crater Central Peaks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Skok, J. R.; Mustard, J. F.; Tornabene, L. L.; Murchie, S. L.

    2011-12-01

    It is predicted that the primary crust of Mars crystallized from a magma ocean and would be well preserved at depth on a single plate planet but poorly exposed as impacts, volcanism and alteration has reworked the upper crust. In a few select locations, extensive excavation by impact or erosion has exposed unaltered mafic minerals of the Martian crust. The majority of these exposures occur within the uplifted central peaks and peak rings of Southern Highland craters. We examine the mafic compositions of these deeply excavated crustal rocks in an attempt to constrain the composition of the Martian crust and test models of planetary formation. The search for deeply excavated bedrock from HiRISE images is ongoing and has so far resulted in nearly 200 potential locations. Over half of these currently have CRISM spectroscopic observations with ~50 locations having good exposures of crustal rocks showing little to no alteration. It is this combination of deeply excavated minerals that has potential to tap the preserved primary crust of Mars. We focus our analysis on olivine and pyroxene as crustal formation models predict that these two minerals would dominate the modal mineralogy of the crystallizing crust with a garnet layer potentially stable at depth. The high-resolution visible and near-infrared spectroscopic data provided by the CRISM instrument is ideally suited for examining these compositional characteristics. Initial in-depth analysis of the central peak of Alga Crater shows excellent exposures of lithologies characterized by both olivine and pyroxene. The olivine-bearing unit here has a fayalitic composition and a dunite lithology. This ancient Fe-rich olivine is in stark contrast to the Mg-enriched olivine of the primitive mantle of Earth. The primary pyroxene-bearing unit was determined to be a low-calcium, high-Fe enstatite orthopyroxenite, consistent with the mineralogy of the ancient Mars meteorite ALH84001. These observations suggest that the crust

  15. CRUST 5.1: A global crustal model at 5° x 5°

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Mooney, Walter D.; Laske, Gabi; Masters, T. Guy

    1998-01-01

    We present a new global model for the Earth's crust based on seismic refraction data published in the period 1948–1995 and a detailed compilation of ice and sediment thickness. An extensive compilation of seismic refraction measurements has been used to determine the crustal structure on continents and their margins. Oceanic crust is modeled with both a standard model for normal oceanic crust, and variants for nonstandard regions, such as oceanic plateaus. Our model (CRUST 5.1) consists of 2592 5° × 5° tiles in which the crust and uppermost mantle are described by eight layers: (1) ice, (2) water, (3) soft sediments, (4) hard sediments, (5) crystalline upper, (6) middle, (7) lower crust, and (8) uppermost mantle. Topography and bathymetry are adopted from a standard database (ETOPO-5). Compressional wave velocity in each layer is based on field measurements, and shear wave velocity and density are estimated using recently published empirical Vp- Vs and Vp-density relationships. The crustal model differs from previous models in that (1) the thickness and seismic/density structure of sedimentary basins is accounted for more completely, (2) the velocity structure of unmeasured regions is estimated using statistical averages that are based on a significantly larger database of crustal structure, (3) the compressional wave, shear wave, and density structure have been explicitly specified using newly available constraints from field and laboratory studies. Thus this global crustal model is based on substantially more data than previous models and differs from them in many important respects. A new map of the thickness of the Earth's crust is presented, and we illustrate the application of this model by using it to provide the crustal correction for surface wave phase velocity maps. Love waves at 40 s are dominantly sensitive to crustal structure, and there is a very close correspondence between observed phase velocities at this period and those predicted by CRUST 5

  16. Europium mass balance in polymict samples and implications for plutonic rocks of the lunar crust

    SciTech Connect

    Korotev, R.L.; Haskin, L.A. )

    1988-07-01

    From correlations of SM concentration and Sm/Eu ratio with Th concentration for a large number of polymict samples from various locations in the lunar highlands and the value of 0.91 {mu}g/g for the mean Th concentration of the highlands surface crust obtained by the orbiting gamma-ray experiments. The authors estimate the mean concentrations of Sm and Eu in the lunar surface crust to be between 2 and 3 {mu}g/g Sm and 0.7 and 1.2 {mu}g/g Eu. The compositional trends indicate that there is no significant enrichment or depletion of Eu, on the average, compared to Sm relative to chondritic abundances, i.e., there is no significant Eu anomaly in average upper crust. Although rich in plagioclase ({approximately}70%), the upper crust does not offer evidence for a gross vertical separation of plagioclase from the final liquid from which it crystallized. This and the chondritic ratio of Eu/Al in average highlands material imply that the net effect of the processes that led to formation of the lunar crust was to put most of the Al and incompatible elements in the crust. Among plutonic rocks, only plagioclase in rocks from the magnesian suite can supply the excess Eu in the polymict rocks. Owing to the intermediate value of the mean Mg/Fe ratio of the crust, a significant fraction of the mafic rocks of the lunar highlands must have lower Mg/Fe ratios than the norites and troctolites of the magnesian-suite of plutonic rocks. A large fraction of the plagioclase in the lunar crust is associated not with ferroan anorthosite, but with more mafic rocks. There is little evidence in the Eu data that the lunar crust ever consisted of a thick shell of nearly pure plagioclase, as envisioned in some formulations of the magma ocean model of its formation.

  17. Early Formation of Terrestrial Crust

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Harrison, T. M.; Schmitt, A. K.; McCulloch, M. T.; Lovera, O. M.

    2007-12-01

    Early (≥4.5 Ga) Formation of Terrestrial Crust T.M. Harrison1, A.K. Schmitt1, M.T. McCulloch2, and O.M. Lovera1 1Department of Earth and Space Sciences and IGPP, UCLA, Los Angeles, CA 90095, USA; 2Research School of Earth Sciences, Australian National University, Canberra, A.C.T. 2601 AUSTRALIA Large deviations in ǎrepsilonHf(T) from bulk silicate Earth seen in >4 Ga detrital zircons from Jack Hills, Western Australia, have been interpreted as reflecting a major differentiation of the silicate Earth at ca. 4.4 to 4.5 Ga. We have expanded the characterization of 176Hf/177Hf (Hf) in Hadean zircons by acquiring a further 116 laser ablation Lu-Hf measurements on 87 grains with ion microprobe 207Pb/206Pb ages up to 4.36 Ga. Most measurements employed concurrent Lu-Hf and 207Pb/206Pb analyses, permitting assessment of the use of ion microprobe data to characterize the age of the volumetrically larger domain sampled by laser drilling. Our new results confirm and extend the earlier observation of significant negative deviations in ǎrepsilonHf(T) throughout the Hadean, although no positive ǎrepsilonHf(T) values were documented in this study. These data yields an essentially uniform spectrum of single-stage model ages between 4.54 and 4.20 Ga for extraction of the zircons' protoliths from a chondritic reservoir. We derived the full error propagation expression for a parameter, ǎrepsilono, which measures the difference of a sample from solar system initial (Hf) (Hfo), and from this conclude that data plotting close to (Hfo), are statistically meaningful and consistent with silicate differentiation at 4.540±0.006 Ga. δ18O and Ti thermometry for these Hadean zircons show little obvious correlation with initial (Hf), consistent with their derivation through fusion of a broad suite of crustal rock types under near water-saturated conditions. Together with the inclusion assemblage and other isotopic and trace element data obtained from these ancient zircons, our results

  18. Apulian crust: Top to bottom

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Amato, Alessandro; Bianchi, Irene; Agostinetti, Nicola Piana

    2014-12-01

    We investigate the crustal seismic structure of the Adria plate using teleseismic receiver functions (RF) recorded at 12 broadband seismic stations in the Apulia region. Detailed models of the Apulian crust, e.g. the structure of the Apulian Multi-layer Platform (AMP), are crucial for assessing the presence of potential décollements at different depth levels that may play a role in the evolution of the Apenninic orogen. We reconstruct S-wave velocity profiles applying a trans-dimensional Monte Carlo method for the inversion of RF data. Using this method, the resolution at the different depth level is completely dictated by the data and we avoid introducing artifacts in the crustal structure. We focus our study on three different key-elements: the Moho depth, the lower crust S-velocity, and the fine-structure of the AMP. We find a well defined and relatively flat Moho discontinuity below the region at 28-32 km depth, possibly indicating that the original Moho is still preserved in the area. The lower crust appears as a generally low velocity layer (average Vs = 3.7 km/s in the 15-26 km depth interval), likely suggestive of a felsic composition, with no significant velocity discontinuities except for its upper and lower boundaries where we find layering. Finally, for the shallow structure, the comparison of RF results with deep well stratigraphic and sonic log data allowed us to constrain the structure of the AMP and the presence of underlying Permo-Triassic (P-T) sediments. We find that the AMP structure displays small-scale heterogeneities in the region, with a thickness of the carbonates layers varying between 4 and 12 km, and is underlain by a thin, discontinuous layer of P-T terrigenous sediments, that are lacking in some areas. This fact may be due to the roughness in the original topography of the continental margins or to heterogeneities in its shallow structure due to the rifting process.

  19. Felsic Magmatism through Intracrustal Melting of Previously Formed Volcanic-Arc Crust: Implications for Differentiation and Secular Evolution of the Continental Crust

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    G R, R. K.; C, S.

    2015-12-01

    The fundamental challenge in understanding the origin and evolution of the continental crust is to recognize how primary mantle source, and oceanic crust, which are essentially mafic to ultramafic in composition, could differentiate into a more or less felsic compositions. It is possible to understand growth and differentiation of the continental crust by constraining the interplay of magmatism, deformation, and high-grade metamorphism in the lower crust. Here, we apply this knowledge on the lower crustal granitoids of southern India and speculate on the variations in geochemistry as a consequence of differentiation and secular evolution of the continental crust.The major groups of granitoids of southern India are classified as metatonalites, comparable to typical Archaean TTGs with pronounced calc-alkaline affinity, and metagranites which are magmatic fractionation produced by reworking of early crust. Metatonalites are sodic-trondhjemites with slightly magnesian, moderate LREE (average LaN = 103) and low HREE (average YbN = 2) characerestics, where as metagranites are calc-alkaline ferroan types with enriched LREE (average LaN = 427) and HREE (average YbN = 23). Petrogenetic characteristics of granitoids illustrate continuous evolution of a primary crust into diverse magmatic units by multiple stages of intracrustal differentiation processes attributed to following tectonic scenarios: (1) formation of tonalitic magma by low- to moderate-degree partial melting of hydrated basaltic crust at pressures high enough to stabilize garnet-amphibole residue and (2) genesis of granite in a continental arc-accretion setting by an episode of crustal remelting of the tonalitic crust, within plagioclase stability field. The first-stage formed in a flat-subduction setting of an volcanic-arc, leading to the formation of tonalites. The heat budget required is ascribed to the upwelling of the mantle and/or basaltic underplating. Progressive decline in mantle potential temperature

  20. A Large Buried Felsic Component in the Ancient Martian Crust?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Baratoux, D.; Monnereau, M.; Samuel, H.; Michaut, C.; Wieczorek, M. A.; Garcia, R.

    2014-12-01

    A new range of crustal density values for Mars was calculated from the major element chemistry of Martian meteorites
(3100 - 3700 kg/m3), igneous rocks at Gusev crater (3100 - 3600 kg/m3) and from the surface concentration of Fe, Al, Ca, Si, and K measured by the Gamma-Ray Spectrometer (GRS) (3250 - 3450 kg/m3) (Baratoux et al., 2014). Whereas a dense basaltic crust would be compatible with the moment of inertia factor of Mars, its thickness would exceed 100 km. Such a thick crust is not compatible with the geoid-to-topography ratios in the highlands, and would be unstable and prone to basal flow and/or crustal delamination. An alternative possibility is the existence of a buried light felsic or anorthositic component. A low-density crustal component in the highlands would be consistent with an isostatic compensation associated with a difference in elevation between the two hemispheres of Mars. This alternative is reinforced in the context of the findings of felsic or anorthositic material from visible/NIR spectroscopy (Carter and Poulet, 2013, Wray et al. 2013), and the identification of feldspar-rich rocks at Gale crater (Sautter et al., 2014), whereas felsic lithologies were already identified by Pathfinder. The recently identified outcrops could be either remnants of an ancient anorthositic crust or the result of local igneous differentiation of plutonic bodies. The latter interpretation is currently preferred as early Mars conditions should not be compatible with the formation of a plagioclase floatation crust (Elkins-Tanton et al., 2005). However, in light of the geophysical and petrological constraints discussed above, and given the absence of abundant light material at the surface, we advocate for the existence of a buried anorthositic crustal component that has been largely buried by volcanic material of basaltic composition in the late Noachian or Hesperian eras. Implications regarding the magma ocean scenario for Mars will be discussed.

  1. The formation processes and isotopic structure of continental crust of the Chingiz Range Caledonides (Eastern Kazakhstan)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Degtyarev, K. E.; Shatagin, K. N.; Kovach, V. P.; Tretyakov, A. A.

    2015-11-01

    According to this paper, the juvenile crust of the Chingiz Range Caledonides (Eastern Kazakhstan) was formed due to suprasubduction magmatism within the Early Paleozoic island arcs developed on the oceanic crust during the Cambrian-Early Ordovician and on the transitional crust during the Middle-Late Ordovician, as well as to the attachment to the arcs of accretionary complexes composed of various oceanic structures. Nd isotopic compositions of the rocks in all island-arc complexes are very similar and primitive (ɛNd(t) from +4.0 to +7.0) and point to a short crustal prehistory. Further increase in the mass and thickness of the crust of the Chingiz Range Caledonides was mainly due to reworking of island-arc complexes in the basement of the Middle and Late Paleozoic volcanoplutonic belts expressed by the emplacement of abundant granitoids. All Middle and Late Paleozoic granitoids have high positive values of ɛNd(t) (at least +4), which are slightly different from Nd isotopic compositions of the rocks in the Lower Paleozoic island-arc complexes. Granitoids are characterized by uniform Nd isotopic compositions (<2-3 ɛ units for granites with a similar age), and thus we can consider the Chingiz Range as the region of the Caledonian isotope province with an isotopically uniform structure of the continental crust.

  2. Growth of early continental crust controlled by melting of amphibolite in subduction zones.

    PubMed

    Foley, Stephen; Tiepolo, Massimo; Vannucci, Riccardo

    2002-06-20

    It is thought that the first continental crust formed by melting of either eclogite or amphibolite, either at subduction zones or on the underside of thick oceanic crust. However, the observed compositions of early crustal rocks and experimental studies have been unable to distinguish between these possibilities. Here we show a clear contrast in trace-element ratios of melts derived from amphibolites and those from eclogites. Partial melting of low-magnesium amphibolite can explain the low niobium/tantalum and high zirconium/samarium ratios in melts, as required for the early continental crust, whereas the melting of eclogite cannot. This indicates that the earliest continental crust formed by melting of amphibolites in subduction-zone environments and not by the melting of eclogite or magnesium-rich amphibolites in the lower part of thick oceanic crust. Moreover, the low niobium/tantalum ratio seen in subduction-zone igneous rocks of all ages is evidence that the melting of rutile-eclogite has never been a volumetrically important process. PMID:12075348

  3. Enrichment mechanisms of tellurium in ferromanganese crusts

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sakaguchi, A.; Sugiyama, T.; Usui, A.; Takahashi, Y.

    2012-04-01

    Marine ferromanganese crusts (FMCs) consist of iron (Fe) hydroxides and manganese (Mn) oxides with various minor and trace elements. Especially for tellurium (Te), which is recognized as one of the rare metals, it has been reported that this element is concentrated about 105 times in FMCs compared with earth's crust, and the host phase might be Fe (oxy)hydroxide (Hein et al., 2003). Actually, in our previous study, the high concentration of Te in very surface layers of FMCs was found from the top to halfway down of a seamount in the Pacific Ocean. However, the concentration of Te in surface layers through the seamount showed good correlation with that of Mn instead of Fe. In this study, we attempted to clarify the enrichment mechanism of Te in FMCs with some methods including X-ray absorption fine structure (XAFS) technique for synthesised /natural samples. Seventeen FMC samples were collected from the Takuyo-Daigo seamount, from 950 m (summit) to 3000 m in water depth, with hyper-dolphin (remotely operated vehicle) equipped with live video camera and manipulators. The growth rates of all FMC samples were estimated to be about 3 mm/Ma. Very surface layer (less than 1 mm) of all FMC was analyzed with XRD and XAFS to confirm the mineral composition and speciation of Te. Furthermore, to serve as an aid to clarify the adsorption mechanism of Te on FMCs, distribution coefficients (Kd) and oxidation states were determined through the adsorption experiments of Te(IV) and Te(VI) on ferrihydrite and δ-MnO2. In all the experiments, pH and ionic strength were adjusted to pH 7.5 and 0.7 M, respectively. The oxidation state of Te in water phase was determined with HPLC-ICP-MS. As for the analysis of oxidation and adsorption states on the solid phase, XAFS was employed. The major mineral composition of Fe and Mn had no significant variation through the water depth of Takuyo-Daigo seamount. The oxidation state of Te in all samples showed hexavalent, and there was no significant

  4. Plagioclase flotation and lunar crust formation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Walker, D.; Hays, J. F.

    1977-01-01

    Anorthitic plagioclase floats in liquids parental to the lunar highlands crust. The plagioclase enrichment that is characteristic of lunar highlands rocks can be the result of plagioclase flotation. Such rocks would form a gravitationally stable upper crust on their parental magma.

  5. Ocean Ridges and Oxygen

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Langmuir, C. H.

    2014-12-01

    The history of oxygen and the fluxes and feedbacks that lead to its evolution through time remain poorly constrained. It is not clear whether oxygen has had discrete steady state levels at different times in Earth's history, or whether oxygen evolution is more progressive, with trigger points that lead to discrete changes in markers such as mass independent sulfur isotopes. Whatever this history may have been, ocean ridges play an important and poorly recognized part in the overall mass balance of oxidants and reductants that contribute to electron mass balance and the oxygen budget. One example is the current steady state O2 in the atmosphere. The carbon isotope data suggest that the fraction of carbon has increased in the Phanerozoic, and CO2 outgassing followed by organic matter burial should continually supply more O2 to the surface reservoirs. Why is O2 not then increasing? A traditional answer to this question would relate to variations in the fraction of burial of organic matter, but this fraction appears to have been relatively high throughout the Phanerozoic. Furthermore, subduction of carbon in the 1/5 organic/carbonate proportions would contribute further to an increasingly oxidized surface. What is needed is a flux of oxidized material out of the system. One solution would be a modern oxidized flux to the mantle. The current outgassing flux of CO2 is ~3.4*1012 moles per year. If 20% of that becomes stored organic carbon, that is a flux of .68*1012 moles per year of reduced carbon. The current flux of oxidized iron in subducting ocean crust is ~2*1012 moles per year of O2 equivalents, based on the Fe3+/Fe2+ ratios in old ocean crust compared to fresh basalts at the ridge axis. This flux more than accounts for the incremental oxidizing power produced by modern life. It also suggests a possible feedback through oxygenation of the ocean. A reduced deep ocean would inhibit oxidation of ocean crust, in which case there would be no subduction flux of oxidized

  6. The hydrothermal power of oceanic lithosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Grose, C. J.; Afonso, J. C.

    2015-10-01

    We have estimated the power of ventilated hydrothermal heat transport, and its spatial distribution, using a set of recently developed plate models which highlight the effects of axial hydrothermal circulation and thermal insulation by oceanic crust. Testing lithospheric cooling models with these two effects, we estimate that global advective heat transport is about 6.6 TW, significantly lower than most previous estimates, and that the fraction of that extracted by vigorous circulation on the ridge axes (< 1 My old) is about 50 % of the total, significantly higher than previous estimates. These new estimates originate from the thermally insulating properties of oceanic crust in relation to the mantle. Since the crust is relatively insulating, the effective properties of the lithosphere are "crust dominated" near ridge axes (a thermal blanketing effect yielding lower heat flow) and gradually approach mantle values over time. Thus, cooling models with crustal insulation predict low heat flow over young seafloor, implying that the difference of modeled and measured heat flow is due to the heat transport properties of the lithosphere, in addition to ventilated hydrothermal circulation as generally accepted. These estimates may bear on important problems in the physics and chemistry of the Earth because the magnitude of ventilated hydrothermal power affects chemical exchanges between the oceans and the lithosphere, thereby affecting both thermal and chemical budgets in the oceanic crust and lithosphere, the subduction factory, and the convective mantle.

  7. Crystallization Age and Impact Resetting of Ancient Lunar Crust from the Descartes Terrane

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Norman, M. D.; Borg, L. E.; Nyquist, L. E.; Bogard, D. D.

    2002-01-01

    Lunar ferroan anorthosites (FANs) are relics of an ancient, primary feldspathic crust that is widely believed to have crystallized from a global magma ocean. Compositions and ages of FANs provide fundamental information about the origin and magmatic evolution of the Moon, while the petrology and thermal history of lunar FANs illustrate the structure and impact history of the lunar crust. Here we report petrologic, geochemical, and isotopic (Nd-Sr-Ar) studies of a ferroan noritic anorthosite clast from lunar breccia 67215 to improve our understanding of the composition, age, and thermal history of the Moon.

  8. Mesozoic invasion of crust by MORB-source asthenospheric magmas, U.S. Cordilleran interior

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Leventhal, Janet A.; Reid, Mary R.; Montana, Art; Holden, Peter

    1995-05-01

    Mafic and ultramafic xenoliths entrained in lavas of the Cima volcanic field have Nd and Sr isotopic ratios indicative of a source similar to that of mid-ocean ridge basalt (MORB). Nd and Sr internal isochrons demonstrate a Late Cretaceous intrusion age. These results, combined with evidence for emplacement in the lower crust and upper mantle, indicate invasion of the lower crust by asthenospheric magmas in the Late Cretaceous. Constituting the first prima facie evidence for depleted-mantle magmatism in the Basin and Range province prior to late Cenozoic volcanism, these results lend key support to models suggesting crustal heating by ascent of asthenosphere in the Mesozoic Cordilleran interior.

  9. Variation of ocean sediment thickness with crustal age

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Olson, Peter; Reynolds, Evan; Hinnov, Linda; Goswami, Arghya

    2016-04-01

    Global ocean sediment thickness and present-day ocean sediment accumulation rates are analyzed with respect to the age of the underlying ocean crust. Trends in average sediment thickness and present-day accumulation rate are well fit by cubic polynomials in crustal age for the global ocean and for individual ocean basins. Sediment thickness and accumulation rates are larger in the North and South Atlantic and Indian Oceans compared to the Pacific Ocean, primarily because the anomalous sediment accumulations that followed continental rifting and collision in the Atlantic and Indian Ocean basins are missing in the Pacific Ocean. Modern ocean sediment accumulation rates, extrapolated into the past assuming steady state conditions, account within uncertainties for the global average sediment thickness on 0-65 Ma (Cenozoic age) ocean crust, while the profile of anomalously thick sediments on older (Mesozoic age) ocean crust is well fit by adding localized, diffusive sediment transport from a steady state source referenced to the adjacent continental margin. Apart from a distinct 0-5 Ma (Quaternary age) sediment pulse, deviations in average sediment thickness from this simple model are generally small and are uncorrelated across ocean basins.

  10. Evolution of Nd and Pb isotopes in Central Pacific seawater from ferromanganese crusts

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Ling, H.F.; Burton, K.W.; O'Nions, R. K.; Kamber, B.S.; Von Blanckenburg, F.; Gibb, A.J.; Hein, J.R.

    1997-01-01

    Hydrogenetic ferromanganese crusts incorporate elements from ambient seawater during their growth on seamounts. By analysing Nd, Pb and Be isotope profiles within crusts it is possible to reconstruct seawater tracer histories. Depth profiles of 10Be/9Be ratios in three Pacific ferromanganese crusts have been used to obtain growth rates which are between 1.4 and 3.8 mm/Ma. Nd and Pb isotopes provide intact records of isotopic variations in Pacific seawater over the last 20 Ma or more. There were only small changes in Pb isotope composition in the last 20 Ma. This indicates a constant Pb composition for the erosional sources and suggests further that erosional Nd inputs may have been uniform too. ??ND values vary considerably with time and most probably reflect changes in ocean circulation. The ??ND values of the crusts not only vary as a function of age but also as a function of water depth. From 25 to 0 Ma, crust VA13/2 from 4.8 km water depth has a similar pattern of ??ND variation to the two shallower crusts from 1.8 and 2.3 km, but about 1.0 to 1.5 units more negative. This suggests that ??ND stratification in Pacific seawater, as demonstrated for the present day, has been maintained for at least 20 Ma. Each crust shows a decrease in ??ND from 3-5 Ma to the present, which is interpreted in terms of an increase in the NADW component present in the Pacific. From 10 to 3-5 Ma ago the crusts show an increase in ??ND. This suggests a decreasing role for a deep water source with ??ND less than circum-Pacific sources. In this regard the Panamanian gateway restriction from ???10 Ma with final closure at 3-5 Ma may have played an important role in reducing access of Atlantic-derived Nd to the Pacific.

  11. Zircon dating of oceanic crustal accretion.

    PubMed

    Lissenberg, C Johan; Rioux, Matthew; Shimizu, Nobumichi; Bowring, Samuel A; Mével, Catherine

    2009-02-20

    Most of Earth's present-day crust formed at mid-ocean ridges. High-precision uranium-lead dating of zircons in gabbros from the Vema Fracture Zone on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge reveals that the crust there grew in a highly regular pattern characterized by shallow melt delivery. Combined with results from previous dating studies, this finding suggests that two distinct modes of crustal accretion occur along slow-spreading ridges. Individual samples record a zircon date range of 90,000 to 235,000 years, which is interpreted to reflect the time scale of zircon crystallization in oceanic plutonic rocks. PMID:19179492

  12. Continental Lower Crust: Wavespeeds, Composition, and Relamination

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hacker, B. R.; Kelemen, P. B.; Behn, M. D.

    2015-12-01

    The composition of much of Earth's lower continental crust is enigmatic. The available heat-flow and wavespeed constraints can be satisfied if lower continental crust elsewhere contains anywhere from 49 to 62 wt% SiO2 (similar to andesite and dacite), with high to moderate concentrations of K, Th and U. Beneath shields and platforms, Vp suggests that 20-30% of lower crust is mafic. A large fraction of this material could be denser than peridotite. In these settings the underlying upper mantle is too cold to permit development of a convective instability. High Vp lithologies in these settings may be the result of mafic underplating, or slow metamorphic growth of large proportions of garnet. Vp from lower crust of Paleozoic-Mesozoic orogens indicates a smaller amount of mafic rock and little or no material that is denser than peridotite. Beneath rifts, arcs, and volcanic plateaux and beneath continent-collision zones, ~10-20% of lower crust is mafic, and about half that is denser than peridotite. The inferred gravitational instability and high Moho temperatures suggest that the mafic lower crust in these regions may be temporary. During sediment subduction, subduction erosion, arc subduction, and continent subduction, mafic rocks become eclogite and may continue to descend into the mantle, whereas more silica-rich rocks are transformed into felsic gneisses that are less dense than peridotite but more dense than continental upper crust. These more-felsic rocks may rise buoyantly, undergo decompression melting and melt extraction, and may be relaminated to the base of the crust. As a result of this refining/differentiation process, such relatively felsic rocks could form much of lower crust.

  13. Continental accretion: From oceanic plateaus to allochthonous terranes

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Ben-Avraham, Z.; Nur, A.; Jones, D.; Cox, A.

    1981-01-01

    Some of the regions of the anomalously high sea-floor topography in today's oceans may be modern allochthonous terranes moving with their oceanic plates. Fated to collide with and be accreted to adjacent continents, they may create complex volcanism, cut off and trap oceanic crust, and cause orogenic deformation. The accretion of plateaus during subduction of oceanic plates may be responsible for mountain building comparable to that produced by the collision of continents. Copyright ?? 1981 AAAS.

  14. Microphytic crusts: 'topsoil' of the desert

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Belnap, Jayne

    1990-01-01

    Deserts throughout the world are the home of microphytic, or cryptogamic, crusts. These crusts are dominated by cyanobacteria, previously called blue-green algae, and also include lichens, mosses, green algae, microfungi and bacteria. They are critical components of desert ecosystems, significantly modifying the surfaces on which they occur. In the cold deserts of the Colorado Plateau (including parts of Utah, Arizona, Colorado, and New Mexico), these crusts are extraordinarily well-developed, and may represent 70-80% of the living ground cover.

  15. Generation of felsic crust in the Archean: a geodynamic modeling perspective

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sizova, Elena; Gerya, Taras; Stüwe, Kurt; Brown, Michael

    2015-04-01

    The relevance of contemporary tectonics to the formation of the Archean terrains is a matter of vigorous debate. Higher mantle temperatures and higher radiogenic heat production in the past would have impacted on the thickness and composition of the oceanic and continental crust. As a consequence of secular cooling, there is generally no modern analog to assist in understanding the tectonic style that may have operated in the Archean. For this reason, well-constrained numerical modeling, based on the fragmentary evidence preserved in the geological record, is the most appropriate tool to evaluate hypotheses of Archean crust formation. The main lithology of Archean terrains is the sodic tonalite-trondhjemite-granodiorite (TTG) suite. Melting of hydrated basalt at garnet-amphibolite to eclogite facies conditions is considered to be the dominant process for the generation of the Archean TTG crust. Taking into account geochemical signatures of possible mantle contributions to some TTGs, models proposed for the formation of Archean crust include subduction, melting at the bottom of thickened continental crust and fractional crystallization of mantle-derived melts under water-saturated conditions. We evaluated these hypotheses using a 2D coupled petrological-thermomechanical numerical model with initial conditions appropriate to the Eoarchean-Mesoarchean. As a result, we identified three tectonic settings in which intermediate to felsic melts are generated by melting of hydrated primitive basaltic crust: 1) delamination and dripping of the lower primitive basaltic crust into the mantle; 2) local thickening of the primitive basaltic crust; and, 3) small-scale crustal overturns. In addition, we consider remelting of the fractionated products derived from underplated dry basalts as an alternative mechanism for the formation of some Archean granitoids. In the context of a stagnant lid tectonic regime which is intermittently terminated by short-lived subduction, we identified

  16. Sources of continental crust: neodymium isotope evidence from the sierra nevada and peninsular ranges.

    PubMed

    Depaolo, D J

    1980-08-01

    Granitic rocks from batholiths of the Sierra Nevada and Peninsular Ranges exhibit initial (143)Nd/(144)Nd ratios that vary over a large range and correlate with (87)Sr/(86)Sr ratios. The data suggest that the batholiths represent mixtures of materials derived from (i) chemically depleted mantle identical to the source of island arcs and (ii) old continental crust, probably sediments or metasediments with a provenance age of approximately 1.6 x 10(9) years. These conclusions are consistent with a model for continental growth whereby new crustal additions are repeatedly extracted from the same limited volume of the upper mantle, which has consequently become depleted in elements that are enriched in the crust. There is little evidence that hydrothermally altered, subducted oceanic crust is a primary source of the magmas. PMID:17821189

  17. The magma ocean as an impediment to lunar plate tectonics

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Warren, Paul H.

    1993-01-01

    The primary impediment to plate tectonics on the moon was probably the great thickness of its crust and particularly its high crust/lithosphere thickness ratio. This in turn can be attributed to the preponderance of low-density feldspar over all other Al-compatible phases in the lunar interior. During the magma ocean epoch, the moon's crust/lithosphere thickness ratio was at the maximum theoretical value, approximately 1, and it remained high for a long time afterwards. A few large regions of thin crust were produced by basin-scale cratering approximately contemporaneous with the demise of the magma ocean. However, these regions probably also tend to have uncommonly thin lithosphere, since they were directly heated and indirectly enriched in K, Th, and U by the same cratering process. Thus, plate tectonics on the moon in the form of systematic lithosphere subduction was impeded by the magma ocean.

  18. The magma ocean as an impediment to lunar plate tectonics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Warren, P. H.

    1993-03-01

    The primary impediment to plate tectonics on the moon was probably the great thickness of its crust and particularly its high crust/lithosphere thickness ratio. This in turn can be attributed to the preponderance of low-density feldspar over all other Al-compatible phases in the lunar interior. During the magma ocean epoch, the moon's crust/lithosphere thickness ratio was at the maximum theoretical value, approximately 1, and it remained high for a long time afterwards. A few large regions of thin crust were produced by basin-scale cratering approximately contemporaneous with the demise of the magma ocean. However, these regions probably also tend to have uncommonly thin lithosphere, since they were directly heated and indirectly enriched in K, Th, and U by the same cratering process. Thus, plate tectonics on the moon in the form of systematic lithosphere subduction was impeded by the magma ocean.

  19. The lunar magma ocean - A transient lunar phenomenon

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Minear, J. W.

    1980-01-01

    The time required for the solidification of a lunar magma ocean is considered. In the absence of a thermal boundary crust, heat loss is by radiation and the ocean will solidify in a few decades. However, only a few millimeters of crust would effectively limit radiation. The current investigation has the objective to present estimates of conduction boundary (crust) thickness based on several models of the mechanism of crustal formation. Three different models for estimating conduction boundary layer thickness are discussed. They are based on the formation of a chill margin, a plagioclase flotation layer, and a layer which is continually destroyed by meteorite impacts and regrows by conductive heat loss. Based on these models, the maximum solidification time for a 200 km thick ocean is about 100 million years. A more probable solidification time based on a plagioclase flotation crust model is about 60 million years.

  20. The breaking strain of neutron star crust

    SciTech Connect

    Kadau, Kai; Horowitz, C J

    2009-01-01

    Mountains on rapidly rotating neutron stars efficiently radiate gravitational waves. The maximum possible size of these mountains depends on the breaking strain of neutron star crust. With multimillion ion molecular dynamics simulations of Coulomb solids representing the crust, we show that the breaking strain of pure single crystals is very large and that impurities, defects, and grain boundaries only modestly reduce the breaking strain to around 0.1. Due to the collective behavior of the ions during failure found in our simulations, the neutron star crust is likely very strong and can support mountains large enough so that their gTavitational wave radiation could limit the spin periods of some stars and might be detectable in large scale interferometers. Furthermore, our microscopic modeling of neutron star crust material can help analyze mechanisms relevant in Magnetar Giant and Micro Flares.

  1. Workshop on the Growth of Continental Crust

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ashwal, Lewis D. (Editor)

    1988-01-01

    Constraints and observations were discussed on a fundamental unsolved problem of global scale relating to the growth of planetary crusts. All of the terrestrial planets were considered, but emphasis was placed on the Earth's continental crust. The title of each session is: (1) Extraterrestrial crustal growth and destruction; (2) Constraints for observations and measurements of terrestrial rocks; (3) Models of crustal growth and destruction; and (4) Process of crustal growth and destruction.

  2. Tectonic escape in the evolution of the continental crust

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Burke, K.; Sengor, C.

    1986-01-01

    The continental crust originated by processes similar to those operating today and continents consist of material most of which originated long ago in arc-systems that have later been modified, especially at Andean margins and in continental collisions where crustal thickening is common. Collision-related strike-slip motion is a general process in continental evolution. Because buoyant continental (or arc) material generally moves during collision toward a nearby oceanic margin where less buoyant lithosphere crops out, the process of major strike-slip dominated motion toward a 'free-face' is called 'tectonic escape'. Tectonic escape is and has been an element in continental evolution throughout recorded earth-history. It promotes: (1) rifting and the formation of rift-basins with thinning of thickened crust; (2) pervasive strike-slip faulting late in orogenic history which breaks up mountain belts across strike and may juxtapose unrelated sectors in cross-section; (3) localized compressional mountains and related foreland-trough basins.

  3. A Seafloor Microbial Biome Hosted within Incipient Ferromanganese Crusts

    SciTech Connect

    Templeton, Alexis S.; Knowles, A. S.; Eldridge, D. L.; Arey, Bruce W.; Dohnalkova, Alice; Webb, Samuel M.; Bailey, B. E.; Tebo, Bradley M.; Staudigel, Hubert

    2009-11-15

    Unsedimented volcanic rocks exposed on the seafloor at ridge systems and Seamounts host complex, abundant and diverse microbial communities that are relatively cosmopolitan in distribution (Lysnes, Thorseth et al. 2004; Mason, Stingl et al. 2007; Santelli, Orcutt et al. 2008). The most commonly held hypothesis is that the energy released by the hydration, dissolution and oxidative alteration of volcanic glasses in seawater drives the formation of an ocean crust biosphere (Thorseth, Furnes et al. 1992; Fisk, Giovannoni et al. 1998; Furnes and Staudigel 1999). The combined thermodynamically favorable weathering reactions could theoretically support anywhere from 105 to 109 cells/gram of rock depending upon the metabolisms utilized and cellular growth rates and turnover (Bach and Edwards 2003; Santelli, Orcutt et al. 2008). Yet microbially-mediated basalt alteration and energy conservation has not been directly demonstrated on the seafloor. By using synchrotron-based x-ray microprobe mapping, x-ray absorption spectroscopy and high-resolution scanning and transmission electron microscopy observations of young volcanic glasses recovered from the outer flanks of Loihi Seamount, we intended to identify the initial rates and mechanisms of microbial basalt colonization and bioalteration. Instead, here we show that microbial biofilms are intimately associated with ferromanganese crusts precipitating onto basalt surfaces from cold seawater. Thus we hypothesize that microbial communities colonizing seafloor rocks are established and sustained by external inputs of potential energy sources, such as dissolved and particulate Fe(II), Mn(II) and organic matter, rather than rock dissolution.

  4. Transdomes sampling of lower and middle crust

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Teyssier, C. P.; Whitney, D. L.; Roger, F.; Rey, P. F.

    2015-12-01

    Migmatite transdomes are formed by lateral and upward flow of partially molten crust in transtension zones (pull-apart structures). In order to understand the flow leading to this type of domes, 3D numerical models were set-up to simulate the general case of an extensional domain located between two strike-slip faults (pull-apart or dilational bridge). Results sh