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Felsic Plutonic Rocks from IODP Hole 1256D, Eastern Pacific: Implications for the Nature of the Axial Melt Lens at Fast-Spreading Mid-Ocean Ridges

Abstract : Although the axial melt lens (AML) beneath fast-spreading mid-ocean ridges has been detected by seismic reflection for decades, its nature and role in the accretion of lower oceanic crust and the evolution and eruption of mid-ocean ridge basalts (MORB) are still poorly constrained. Plutonic rocks consisting of quartz-bearing gabbros, diorites and tonalites, which might represent the upper part of a fossilized AML, have for the first time been recovered from an intact fast-spreading oceanic crust section by Integrated Ocean Drilling Program (IODP) Hole 1256D. Whole-rock major elements show a wide and continuous compositional range (e.g. Mg# 24–70) and apparent enrichments in Ti and Fe at intermediate MgO contents (4–6 wt %). Trace element characteristics are coherent for the different lithology groups defined by petrography and mineral modes; that is, gabbro, clinopyroxene-rich diorite, amphibole-rich or oxide-rich diorite and tonalite. The gabbros and diorites are consistent with modeled products of MORB fractional crystallization, composed of mixed melt and cumulate in varying ratios. Modeled trace elements (especially with respect to Eu) support a model in which the tonalites originated from low-degree partial melting of the sheeted dikes overlying the AML, rather than extreme fractional crystallization. Enrichments in rare earth elements (REE) in clinopyroxenes from the gabbroic and dioritic intrusive rocks suggest strong assimilation of REE-rich tonalitic components by evolved MORB magmas. Hydrothermal alteration was pervasive during cooling of the plutonic system, which can be traced by petrography, mineral compositions and bulk-rock geochemistry. The upper part of AML, largely composed of low-density and high-viscosity felsic magmas, may serve as a barrier to eruptible MORB melts in the lower part of AML.
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Submitted on : Tuesday, April 17, 2018 - 2:44:53 PM
Last modification on : Monday, April 6, 2020 - 8:38:02 AM

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Chao Zhang, Juergen Koepke, Lyderic France, Marguerite Godard. Felsic Plutonic Rocks from IODP Hole 1256D, Eastern Pacific: Implications for the Nature of the Axial Melt Lens at Fast-Spreading Mid-Ocean Ridges. Journal of Petrology, Oxford University Press (OUP), 2017, 58 (8), pp.1535-1566. ⟨10.1093/petrology/egx064⟩. ⟨hal-01768823⟩

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