Oxygen isotope evidence for short-lived high-temperature fluid flow in the lower oceanic crust at fast-spreading ridges

Abstract

Millimeter-scale amphibole veins in the lower oceanic crust record fracture-controlled fluid flow at high-temperatures but the importance of this fluid flow for the thermal and chemical evolution of the lower oceanic crust is unclear. In the section of lower oceanic crust recovered at Hess Deep from ODP Hole 894G, which formed at the fast-spreading East Pacific Rise, these veins are randomly distributed with an average spacing of ∼1 m. We unravel the history of fluid flow through one of these veins by combining in situ O-isotope analyses of wall-rock plagioclase with major element analyses, geothermometry and diffusion modeling. Thermometry indicates vein sealing by amphibole at ∼720 °C over a narrow temperature interval (±20 °C). In situ Oisotope analyses by ion microprobe, with a precision of b0.5‰, reveal zoning of O-isotopes in plagioclase adjacent to the vein. The zoning profiles can be reproduced using a diffusion model if the duration of O-isotope exchange was ≤100 yr. A similar interval of fluid–rock exchange is suggested by modeling potassium depletion in plagioclase adjacent to the vein. If representative of fracture controlled fluid flow in the lower oceanic crust the limited duration of fluid flow, and its occurrence over a narrow temperature interval, suggest that high-temperature fluid flow in this porosity network does not transport significant heat. © 2007 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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@inproceedings{Coogan2007OxygenIE, title={Oxygen isotope evidence for short-lived high-temperature fluid flow in the lower oceanic crust at fast-spreading ridges}, author={Laurence A. Coogan and Craig E . Manning and Robert N. Wilson}, year={2007} }