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Anisotropic Physical Properties of Mafic and Ultramafic Rocks From an Oceanic Core Complex

Bayrakci, G.; Falcon Suarez, I. H.; Minshull, T.A.; North, L.; Barker, A.; Zihlmann, B.; Rouméjon, S.; Best, A.I.. 2018 Anisotropic Physical Properties of Mafic and Ultramafic Rocks From an Oceanic Core Complex. Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems, 19 (11). 4366-4384. https://doi.org/10.1029/2018GC007738

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Abstract/Summary

We analyzed the physical properties of altered mafic and ultramafic rocks drilled at the Atlantis Massif (Mid‐Atlantic Ridge, 30°N; Integrated Ocean Discovery Program Expeditions 304‐305 and 357). Our objective was to find a physical property that allows direct distinction between these lithologies using remote geophysical methods. Our data set includes the density, the porosity, P and S wave velocities, the electrical resistivity, and the permeability of mafic and ultramafic samples under shallow subsurface conditions (confining pressure up to 50 MPa equivalent to ~2‐km depth). In shallow subsurface conditions, mafic and ultramafic samples showed distinct differences in the density, the seismic wave velocities, and the electrical resistivity (mafic samples: 2,840 to 2,860 kg/m3, 5.92 to 6.70 km/s, and 60 to 221 Ω m; ultramafic samples: 2,370 to 2,790 kg/m3, 3.36 and 3.62 km/s, and 8 to 44 Ω m). However, we observed an overlap between physical properties of mafic and ultramafic rocks when we compared our measurements with those acquired from similar environments. The anisotropic homogeneous electrical resistivity inversion shows transverse isotropy symmetry, which is typical of a foliated microstructure. In both the inversion results and the thin sections, the direction of high resistivity axes of ultramafic rock samples is systematically perpendicular to the equivalent axes in mafic rock samples analyzed in this study. Our sample scale study suggests that electrical resistivity anisotropy may allow us to distinguish mafic and ultramafic lithologies via controlled source electromagnetic surveys. When surface conduction is negligible, the electrical resistivity can be used as proxy for permeability.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): https://doi.org/10.1029/2018GC007738
ISSN: 1525-2027
Date made live: 18 Dec 2018 16:28 +0 (UTC)
URI: http://nora.nerc.ac.uk/id/eprint/521888

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