Infoscience

Journal article

Petrophysical properties of the root zone of sheeted dikes in the ocean crust: A case study from Hole ODP/IODP 1256D, Eastern Equatorial Pacific

ODP (Ocean Drilling Program)/IODP (Integrated Ocean Drilling Program) Site 1256 is located on the Cocos Plate in the Eastern Equatorial Pacific Ocean, in a 15. Ma old oceanic lithosphere formed at the EPR during a period of superfast spreading (> 200 mm/yr). ODP/IODP Hole 1256D reached for the first time the contact between sheeted dikes and underlying gabbros. It consequently offers a unique opportunity to study in situ, in present-day oceanic crust, the root zone of the sheeted dike complex. This root zone is a thin, 100. m thick boundary layer between the magmatic system (i.e., the axial melt lens, . 1100°C), and the overlying high temperature hydrothermal system (≤ 450 °C). The understanding of interactions within this boundary layer is critical to that of crustal processes along mid-ocean ridges.This work focuses on the petrophysical characterization of the root zone of the sheeted dike complex in order to further constrain the hydrothermal circulation system in the vicinity of the axial melt lens, as recorded in non-granoblastic dikes, granoblastic dikes, and varitextured gabbros. The petrophysical properties were determined from sample measurements in the laboratory and were compared to in situ downhole geophysical probing. The porosity structure is bipolar, depending on lithology, resulting in a layered system. Non-granoblastic dikes are generally altered in the greenschist facies ( >250°C) with relatively high and interconnected (cementation index m . 1.72, electrical tortuosity τ 28.3) porosity (1.5%). In contrast, gabbros are retrogressively metamorphosed in the amphibolite ( >450°C) and greenschist facies, with lower porosity (1.3%) that involves numerous fissures and cracks, resulting in a more connected medium (m 1.58, τ 11.8) than non-granoblastic dikes. These cracks are more abundant but also tend to close with increasing depth as indicated in downhole geophysical data. Porosity and alteration, as viewed from surface electrical conductivity, appear to be directly correlated. © 2010 Elsevier B.V.

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