Subsurface Implications of Spatially Variable Seafloor Character on the Atlantis Massif

Friday, 19 December 2014
John Anthony Greene1, Masako Tominaga1 and Donna K Blackman2, (1)Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI, United States, (2)University of California San Diego, La Jolla, CA, United States
We documented and mapped the characteristics of the seafloor on the Atlantis Massif, an ocean core complex located at 30°N on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. Our goal is to investigate the implications of these surficial features, particularly whether their spatial variations might reflect subsurface lithology and geological processes. We utilized data collected during the MARVEL 2000 cruise AT3-60, specifically Alvin videos and rock samples, Argo II digital still photos, and TOBI/DSL-120 side-scan sonar mosaic. The Alvin dives studied occurred over the Central Dome and Eastern Block, which is interpreted as the hanging wall to the detachment that unroofed the dome. We also studied two Argo II dives located over the Central Dome, one over the Eastern Block, and one over the Western Shoulder of the southern dome. The TOBI/DSL-120 side-scan sonar followed a widespread, looped track providing near total coverage of the massif. We classified the character of the seafloor based on imagery, the acoustic reflectivity, and the basic composition of rock samples. To aid in our classification, we merged Argo II still images to produce photo-mosaics displaying tens of meters long transects. We then classified the seafloor as unconsolidated sediment, lithified sediment (a carbonate crust or cap), exposed bedrock, or rubble. To obtain a broader understanding of the Atlantis Massif, we analyzed the distribution of these classes of seafloor. Over the Central Dome and Western Shoulder, we found most seafloor classes present in notable amounts, with many individual areas dominated by a particular type.