Reactive overprint of the Central Indian Ridge mantle and formation of hybrid troctolites: reassessing the significance of bulk oceanic crust
Abstract: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  or at their fossil analogues . 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 . 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.
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