2007 GSA Denver Annual Meeting (2831 October 2007)
Paper No. 196-7
Presentation Time: 9:40 AM-9:55 AM

OCEAN ZIRCONS! CONSTRAINTS ON SPREADING RATES, COOLING AND FAULTING HISTORIES, AND MODES OF CRUSTAL ACCRETION

JOHN, Barbara1, CHEADLE, Michael1, BAINES, Graham2, GRIMES, Craig1, SCHWARTZ, Joshua1, and WOODEN, Joe3, (1) Geology and Geophysics, University of Wyoming, Laramie, WY 82071, bjohn@uwyo.edu, (2) School of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Adelaide University, Adelaide, SA 5005, Australia, (3) USGS-Stanford Ion Microprobe Laboratory, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305

The recognition of igneous zircon in evolved gabbroic rocks (including Fe-Ti oxide and/or amphibole-bearing gabbro, quartz diorite, and tonalite) that comprise a significant portion of oceanic crust exposed at slow and ultraslow spreading mid-ocean ridges, provides an unprecedented opportunity for U/Pb zircon SHRIMP II dating. U/Pb ages, with a resolution of ~2-3% (as low as 0.02-0.03 my in 1 Ma crust), provide detailed information on spreading rates, help calibrate marine magnetic anomalies, provide detailed constraints on the timing of both magmatism and denudation, and contribute to knowledge of the rates and duration of crustal growth in slow spreading environments. Further, when used in conjunction with other thermochronometers, the full crustal cooling history can be determined.

To date, our work has focused on the footwalls to large-slip faults at several sites including Atlantis Bank and ODP Hole 735B (SW Indian Ridge), ODP Holes 1270D and 1275D along the 1520' fracture zone, the Kane Megamullion at 23N and IODP Hole 1309D at 30N, all on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. We have determined plate spreading rates at Atlantis Bank and the Kane Megamullion that suggest that oceanic detachment faults form during periods of highly asymmetric spreading (Atlantis Bank detachment fault accommodated roughly 80% of plate spreading). We note that the average 206Pb/238U age is ~0.2 my older than the estimated magnetic age of Hole 735B, implying that magnetic remanence was acquired ~3 km off-axis, and crustal cooling rates of >1000C/myr from 850-550C. We have recognized zoned zircon crystals that record up to 2.5 my of inheritance testifying to the complexity of crustal growth at slow spreading ridges. Dating of zircons from deep ODP/IODP vertical boreholes has allowed us to determine a detailed chronology of the emplacement of up to 1500 meters of gabbroic crust, illuminating not only crustal architecture, but the timing and scale of vertical crustal accretion, and the cooling/denudation history of slow spreading crust. These data test models of crustal accretion at mid-ocean ridges, including the gabbro-glacier and many sill models. We have also combined zircon U/Pb ages with zircon U/Th-He and fission track ages, sphene fission track ages, and biotite Ar-Ar ages to define a complete cooling history for Atlantis Bank. Off axis heating seems to be required.

2007 GSA Denver Annual Meeting (2831 October 2007)
General Information for this Meeting
Session No. 196
Geochemistry of Magmatic and Metamorphic Processes I: In Honor of the Contributions of Joseph L. Wooden
Colorado Convention Center: 709/711
8:00 AM-12:00 PM, Wednesday, 31 October 2007

Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs, Vol. 39, No. 6, p. 526

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