Publications

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2014
Blackman, DK, Slagle A, Guerin G, Harding A.  2014.  Geophysical signatures of past and present hydration within a young oceanic core complex. Geophysical Research Letters. 41:1179-1186.   10.1002/2013gl058111   AbstractWebsite

Borehole logging at the Atlantis Massif oceanic core complex provides new information on the relationship between the physical properties and the lithospheric hydration of a slow-spread intrusive crustal section. Integrated Ocean Drilling Program Hole U1309D penetrates 1.4km into the footwall to an exposed detachment fault on the 1.2Ma flank of the mid-Atlantic Ridge, 30 degrees N. Downhole variations in seismic velocity and resistivity show a strong correspondence to the degree of alteration, a recorder of past seawater circulation. Average velocity and resistivity are lower, and alteration is more pervasive above a fault around 750m. Deeper, these properties have higher values except in heavily altered ultramafic zones that are several tens of meters thick. Present circulation inferred from temperature mimics this pattern: advective cooling persists above 750m, but below, conductive cooling dominates except for small excursions within the ultramafic zones. These alteration-related physical property signatures are probably a characteristic of gabbroic cores at oceanic core complexes. Key Points Borehole T indicates shallow present circulation, conductive regime > 750 mbsf Narrow fault zones have seismic, T, resistivity signal indicating localized flow Hydration of gabbroic oceanic core complexes is limited below fault damage zone

2010
Blackman, DK, Collins JA.  2010.  Lower crustal variability and the crust/mantle transition at the Atlantis Massif oceanic core complex. Geophysical Research Letters. 37   10.1029/2010gl045165   AbstractWebsite

Seismic refraction data provide new constraints on the structure of the lower oceanic crust and its variability across the Atlantis Massif oceanic core complex, similar to 30 degrees N on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. A 40 km-long spreading-parallel profile constrains P-wave velocities to depths of up to similar to 7 km beneath the seafloor. Two shorter spreading-perpendicular lines provide coverage to similar to 2 km depth. The anomalous character of the massif's central dome crust is clear compared to the neighboring rift valley and similar-age crust on the opposite ridge flank. The domal core of the massif, unroofed via detachment faulting, has velocities > 7.0 km/s at depths below similar to 2.5 km sub-seafloor, increasing to 7.5-7.8 km/s over the depth range 4.8-6.8 km. Within the core complex, the Moho does not appear to be sharp as no PmP arrivals are observed. Within the axial valley, velocities do not reach mantle-transition zone values in the uppermost 6 km. We infer that crust there is of normal thickness but that a thinner than average mafic section is present in the central massif. Near IODP Hole U1309D, located on the central dome, there is a low velocity gradient interval at 1-3 km depth with velocities of 6.6-6.8 km/s, that coincides with a 3-5 km wide region where shallower velocities are highest. Given the predominantly gabbroic section recovered from the 1.4 km deep drillhole, this seismic structure suggests that the mafic body extends a few km both laterally and vertically. Citation: Blackman, D. K., and J. A. Collins (2010), Lower crustal variability and the crust/mantle transition at the Atlantis Massif oceanic core complex, Geophys. Res. Lett., 37, L24303, doi:10.1029/2010GL045165.

2007
van Wijk, JW, Blackman DK.  2007.  Development of en echelon magmatic segments along oblique spreading ridges. Geology. 35:599-602.   10.1130/g23294a.1   AbstractWebsite

En echelon magmatic segments commonly develop along obliquely spreading oceanic ridges. To clarify some of the dynamic aspects of this plate boundary, we performed a series of thermo-mechanical numerical tests. When extension of oceanic lithosphere becomes oblique, deformation within the axial region localizes into distinct upwelling centers. Temperatures are elevated in the upwelling cells, which are shallow mantle features that form the new plate boundary. The predicted features are similar to the axial volcanic ridges documented at Mohns and Reykjanes Ridges, and we conclude that they become the new loci of extensional deformation, upwelling, and magmatic activity. These ridges, suborthogonal to the plate spreading direction, only develop when the axis rift zone is weak. The subsegment length and spacing depend primarily on obliquity and axial width. Predicted crustal thickness along the subsegmented axis varies discernibly; this might explain the morphology and satellite gravity of the flanks of oblique spreading ridges.

2005
van Wijk, JW, Blackman DK.  2005.  Deformation of oceanic lithosphere near slow-spreading ridge discontinuities. Tectonophysics. 407:211-225.   10.1016/j.tecto.2005.08.009   AbstractWebsite

Transform and non-transform discontinuities that offset slow spreading mid-ocean ridges involve complex thermal and mechanical interactions. The truncation of the ridge axis influences the dynamics of spreading and accretion over a certain distance from the segment-end. Likewise, the spreading system is expected to influence the lithospheric plate adjacent to the ridge-end opposite of the discontinuity. Tectonic effects of the truncated ridge are noticeable in for example the contrast between seafloor topography at inside comers and outside comers, along-axis variations in rift valley depth, style of crustal accretion, and ridge segment retreat and lengthening. Along such slow-spreading discontinuities and their fossil traces, oceanic core complexes or mega-mullion structures are rather common extensional tectonic features. In an attempt to understand deforrnation of oceanic lithosphere near ridge offsets, the evolution of discontinuities, and conditions that may favor oceanic core complex formation, a three-dimensional thermo-mechanical model has been developed. The numerical approach allows for a more complete assessment of lithosphere deformation and associated stress fields in inside comers than was possible in previous 3-D models. The initial suite of results reported here focuses on deformation when axial properties do not vary along-strike or with time, showing the extent to which plate boundary geometry alone can influence deformation. We find that non-transform discontinuities are represented by a wide, oblique deformation zone that tends to change orientation with time to become more parallel to the ridge segments. This contrasts with predicted deformation near transform discontinuities, where initial orientation is maintained in time. The boundary between the plates is found to be vertical in the center of the offset and curved at depth in the inside comers near the ridge-transform intersection. Ridge-normal tensile stresses concentrate in line with the ridge tip, extending onto the older plate across the discontinuity, and high stress amplitudes are absent in the inside comers during the magmatic accretionary phase simulated by our models. With the tested rheology and boundary conditions, inside corner formation of oceanic core complexes is predicted to be unlikely during magmatic spreading phases. Additional modeling studies are needed for a full understanding of extensional stress release in relatively young oceanic lithosphere. (c) 2005 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.