Publications

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2015
Greene, JA, Tominaga M, Blackman DK.  2015.  Geologic implications of seafloor character and carbonate lithification imaged on the domal core of Atlantis Massif. Deep-Sea Research Part Ii-Topical Studies in Oceanography. 121:246-255.   10.1016/j.dsr2.2015.06.020   AbstractWebsite

We document the seafloor character on Atlantis Massif, an ocean core complex located at 30 degrees N on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, with an emphasis on the distribution of carbonate features. Seafloor imagery, near-bottom backscatter, and bathymetry were analyzed on the Central Dome and the Western Shoulder of the exposed footwall to the detachment, and on the Eastern Block, a hanging wall to the fault. We merged Argo II still images to produce photo-mosaics and evaluated these together with video imagery, acoustic reflectivity, and basic rock composition. The seafloor was classified as unconsolidated sediment, lithified carbonate crust, consolidated carbonate cap, exposed basement, or rubble, and the spatial distribution of each type was assessed. Unconsolidated sediment, exposed basement, and rubble were documented in all three regions studied. Lithified carbonate crust was also present on the Western Shoulder and eastern Central Dome. Consolidated carbonate cap was found on the Eastern Block. The formation of the carbonate rock is interpreted to reflect precipitation and/or sediment cementation via fluids derived from serpentinization. Both processes occur at the nearby Lost City Hydrothermal Field. The newly documented locations of seafloor carbonate lithification therefore mark pathways of past, possibly recent, fluid flux from subsurface water-rock reaction zones and represent an additional constituent of the carbon cycling hosted by oceanic lithosphere. (C) 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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

2009
Collins, JA, Blackman DK, Harris A, Carlson RL.  2009.  Seismic and drilling constraints on velocity structure and reflectivity near IODP Hole U1309D on the central dome of Atlantis Massif, Mid-Atlantic Ridge 30°N. Geochemistry Geophysics Geosystems. 10   10.1029/2008gc002121   AbstractWebsite

The seismic structure of the upper similar to 1 km of the central dome of Atlantis Massif is investigated in the context of lithologies known from seafloor drilling and physical property measurements obtained within the borehole and on core samples. A new analysis of seafloor refraction data and multichannel reflection data acquired in the immediate vicinity of Integrated Ocean Drilling Program (IODP) Site U1309 was motivated by a discrepancy between initial seismic interpretations, which indicated mantle velocities at shallow depth, and the gabbroic sequence recovered by drilling. A new seismic velocity model is derived that is consistent with the full suite of geological and geophysical data in the central dome area; all of these data show that mafic intrusive rocks dominate the upper portion of the footwall of this oceanic core complex and that laterally extensive zones of ultramafic rocks are not required by the data. The origin of subseafloor reflectivity beneath the central dome was also considered. We find that seafloor scattering complicates the interpretation of multichannel seismic data acquired near Site U1309 but that detectable subsurface impedance contrasts do occur. Downhole variations in alteration may generate reflections observed from the upper kilometer of the central dome.

2008
Blackman, DK, Karner GD, Searle RC.  2008.  Three-dimensional structure of oceanic core complexes: Effects on gravity signature and ridge flank morphology, Mid-Atlantic Ridge, 30°N. Geochemistry Geophysics Geosystems. 9   10.1029/2008gc001951   AbstractWebsite

Our gravity modeling of oceanic core complexes formed at the Mid-Atlantic Ridge near 30 degrees N suggests that their shallow, domal "cores'' could be dominated by mafic intrusive rocks, consistent with recent drilling results at Atlantis Massif. The three-dimensional gravity analysis incorporates additional underway geophysics data in a new compilation and uses a higher-resolution bathymetry model to remove the gravity contribution of seafloor topography. The additional detail is required in order to confidently relate few-kilometer-scale gravity anomalies to specific morphologic/tectonic blocks. Different models of subseafloor core complex structure and density are tested to determine which minimizes the local gravity anomaly. A 3-D core with density 2900 kg/m(3), as measured in the gabbroic section drilled at the central dome, and juxtaposed 3-D hanging wall of fractured basalt, density similar to 2600 kg/m(3), satisfactorily explains most of the Bouguer gravity anomaly at Atlantis Massif. The capping detachment fault terminates or plunges northward beneath the seafloor at the northern limit of the central dome. The southwest shoulder of the massif has lower density, consistent with an upper crustal section similar to 1 km thick, whereas the summit and southeastern shoulder have overall density similar to the central dome. The older core complexes distributed along Atlantis fracture zone are similar in size, depth, and distance of their summit from the transform fault. However, weathering/alteration probably has reduced their density somewhat compared to Atlantis Massif. Bathymetric embayments occur adjacent to the fracture zone in several places on the ridge flanks and are consistently associated with core complexes.