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)

Tuesday, 16 December 2014: 11:35 AM
Marguerite Godard, University of Montpellier II, Montpellier Cedex 05, France, Trevor Falloon, University of Tasmania, Hobart, Australia, Kathryn M Gillis, University of Victoria, Victoria, BC, Canada, Norikatsu Akizawa, Kanazawa University, Kanagawa, Japan, Alden de Brito Adriao, UFRGS Federal University of Rio Grande du Sul, Rio Grande, Brazil, Juergen Koepke, Leibniz University of Hannover, Hannover, Germany, Naomi Marks, Lawrence Livermore National Lab, Livermore, CA, United States, Romain Meyer, Centre for Gebiology, Bergen, Norway, Abhishek Saha, Council of Scientific & industrial Research, New Delhi, India and C-Dieter Garbe-Schoenberg, University of Kiel, Kiel, Germany
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.