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

Tuesday, 16 December 2014
Mark J Dekkers, Utrecht University, Utrecht, Netherlands, David Heslop, Australian National University, Canberra, Australia, Emilio Herrero-Bervera, University of Hawaii, Honolulu, HI, United States, Gary Acton, Sam Houston State University, Huntsville, TX, United States and David Krasa, European Commission, Brussels, Belgium
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 not straightforward because of the propensity of oxyexsolution during laboratory heating and/or the presence of intergrowths. The upper part of the extrusive sequence, the granoblastic portion of the dikes, and moderately altered gabbros may contain a comparatively uncontaminated thermoremanent magnetization.