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Strontium isotope constraints on fluid flow in the sheeted dike complex of fast spreading crust: pervasive fluid flow at Pito Deep.

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Title: Strontium isotope constraints on fluid flow in the sheeted dike complex of fast spreading crust: pervasive fluid flow at Pito Deep.
Author: Weis, Dominique
Issue Date: 2008
Publicly Available in cIRcle 2011-11-16
Publisher American Geophysical Union
Citation: Barker, A. K.; Coogan, Lawrence A.; Gillis, Kathryn M.; Weis, Dominique. (2008). Strontium isotope constraints on fluid flow in the sheeted dike complex of fast spreading crust: pervasive fluid flow at Pito Deep. Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems, 9(6), Q06010, dx.doi.org/10.1029/2007GC001901.
Abstract: Fluid flow through the axial hydrothermal system at fast spreading ridges is investigated using the Sr-isotopic composition of upper crustal samples recovered from a tectonic window at Pito Deep (NE Easter microplate). Samples from the sheeted dike complex collected away from macroscopic evidence of channelized fluid flow, such as faults and centimeter-scale hydrothermal veins, show a range of 87Sr/86Sr from 0.7025 to 0.7030 averaging 0.70276 relative to a protolith with 87Sr/86Sr of ∼0.7024. There is no systematic variation in 87Sr/86Sr with depth in the sheeted dike complex. Comparison of these new data with the two other localities that similar data sets exist for (ODP Hole 504B and the Hess Deep tectonic window) reveals that the extent of Sr-isotope exchange is similar in all of these locations. Models that assume that fluid-rock reaction occurs during one-dimensional (recharge) flow lead to significant decreases in the predicted extent of isotopic modification of the rock with depth in the crust. These model results show systematic misfits when compared with the data that can only be avoided if the fluid flow is assumed to be focused in isolated channels with very slow fluid-rock exchange. In this scenario the fluid at the base of the crust is little modified in 87Sr/86Sr from seawater and thus unlike vent fluids. Additionally, this model predicts that some rocks should show no change from the fresh-rock 87Sr/86Sr, but this is not observed. Alternatively, models in which fluid-rock reaction occurs during upflow (discharge) as well as downflow, or in which fluids are recirculated within the hydrothermal system, can reproduce the observed lack of variation in 87Sr/86Sr with depth in the crust. Minimum time-integrated fluid fluxes, calculated from mass balance, are between 1.5 and 2.6 × 106 kg m−2 for all areas studied to date. However, new evidence from both the rocks and a compilation of vent fluid compositions demonstrates that some Sr is leached from the crust. Because this leaching lowers the fluid 87Sr/86Sr without changing the rock 87Sr/86Sr, these mass balance models must underestimate the time-integrated fluid flux. Additionally, these values do not account for fluid flow that is channelized within the crust. An edited version of this paper was published by AGU. Copyright 2008 American Geophysical Union.
Affiliation: Earth and Ocean Sciences, Dept. of (EOS), Dept of
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/2429/39090
Peer Review Status: Reviewed
Scholarly Level: Faculty

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