Geochemical characteristics of fast-spreading lower oceanic crust: an example of troctolites at the Hess Deep Rift (IODP Expedition 345)

Wednesday, 17 December 2014
Norikatsu Akizawa1, Marguerite Godard2, Benoit Ildefonse2 and Shoji Arai1, (1)Kanazawa University, Department of Earth Sciences, Kanazawa, Japan, (2)Université Montpellier 2 & CNRS, Géosciences Montpellier, Montpellier, France
Troctolites were recovered during IODP Expedition 345 (Dec 2012 - Feb 2013), which targeted plutonic rocks from fast-spread lower oceanic crust at the Hess Deep Rift. The troctolites are divided into three groups based on textural diversity; “skeletal olivine-bearing”, “fine-grained” and “coarse-grained” troctolites.

For major- and trace-element compositions of olivine and plagioclase, the skeletal olivine-bearing and fine-grained troctolites are more evolved (olivine Fo and NiO contents, 83 to 86 and 0.08 to 0.2 wt.%, respectively, and plagioclase An content, 77 to 84) than coarse-grained ones (olivine Fo and NiO contents, 87to 89 and 0.2 to 0.3 wt.%, respectively, and plagioclase An content, 85 to 90). Clinopyroxenes show scattered chemical compositions in the skeletal olivine-bearing and fine-grained troctolites, down to the scale of a single thin section. Clinopyroxenes, some of which show no Eu anomaly, are clearly zoned in the coarse-grained troctolites: the rims are chemically more evolved than the cores.

The skeletal olivine-bearing and fine-grained troctolites record signs of melt invasion, which caused the chemical heterogeneity of the clinopyroxenes. In contrast, the coarse-grained troctolites show no such sign, and contain the zoned clinopyroxenes, which were co-precipitated with plagioclases. MORB (mid-ocean ridge basalt) melts experience multi-stage evolution, including fractional crystallization and melt/troctolite interaction during migration. Such various melt migration processes in the lower oceanic crust possibly cause regional diversity of MORB chemistry.