Magmatic and metamorphic evolution of the oceanic crust in the western flank of the MAR crest zone at 15°44?N: Investigation of cores from sites 1275B and 1275D, JOIDES resolution Leg 209 Academic Article uri icon


  • This paper reports the results of an investigation of a representative collection of samples recovered by deep-sea drilling from the oceanic basement 10 miles west of the rift valley axis in the crest zone of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge at 1544’N (sites 1275B and 1275D). The drilling operations were carried out during Leg 209 of the drilling vessel JOIDES Resolution within the framework of the Ocean Drilling Program (ODP). The oceanic crust was penetrated to a depth of 108.7 m at Site 1275B and 209 m at Site 1275D. We reconstructed the following sequence of magmatic and metamorphic events resulting in the formation of a typical oceanic core complex of slow-spreading ridges: (1) formation of a strongly fractionated (enriched in iron and titanium) tholeiitic magmatic melt parental to the gabbroids under investigation in a large magma chamber located in a shallow mantle and operating for a long time under steady-state conditions; (2) transfer of the parental magmatic melt of the gabbroids to the base of the oceanic crust, its interaction with the host mantle peridotites, and formation of troctolites and plagioclase peridotites; (3) intrusion of enriched trondhjemite melts as veins and dikes in the early formed plutonic complex, contact recrystallization of the gabbro, and development in the peridotite-gabbro complex of enriched geochemical signatures owing to the influence of the trondhjemite injections; (4) emplacement of dolerite dikes (transformed to diabases); (5) metamorphism of upper epidoteamphibolite facies with the participation of marine fluids; and (6) rapid exhumation of the plutonic complex to the seafloor accompanied by greenschist-facies metamorphism. The distribution patterns of Sr and Nd isotopes and strongly incompatible elements in the rocks suggest contributions from two melt sources to the magmatic evolution of the MAR crest at 1544’N: a depleted reservoir responsible for the formation of the gabbros and diabases and an enriched reservoir from which the trondhjemites (granophyres) were derived.

publication date

  • July 2008