Publications

Export 5 results:
Sort by: Author Title Type [ Year  (Desc)]
2008
Varga, RJ, Horst AJ, Gee JS, Karson JA.  2008.  Direct evidence from anisotropy of magnetic susceptibility for lateral melt migration at superfast spreading centers. Geochemistry Geophysics Geosystems. 9   10.1029/2008gc002075   AbstractWebsite

Rare, fault-bounded escarpments expose natural cross sections of ocean crust in several areas and provide an unparalleled opportunity to study the end products of tectonic and magmatic processes that operated at depth beneath oceanic spreading centers. We mapped the geologic structure of ocean crust produced at the East Pacific Rise ( EPR) and now exposed along steep cliffs of the Pito Deep Rift near the northern edge of the Easter microplate. The upper oceanic crust in this area is typified by basaltic lavas underlain by a sheeted dike complex comprising northeast striking, moderately to steeply southeast dipping dikes. Paleomagnetic remanence of oriented blocks of dikes collected with both Alvin and Jason II indicate clockwise rotation of similar to 61 degrees related to rotation of the microplate indicating structural coupling between the microplate and crust of the Nazca Plate to the north. The consistent southeast dip of dikes formed as the result of tilting at the EPR shortly after their injection. Anisotropy of magnetic susceptibility of dikes provides well-defined magmatic flow directions that are dominantly dike-parallel and shallowly plunging. Corrected to their original EPR orientation, magma flow is interpreted as near-horizontal and parallel to the ridge axis. These data provide the first direct evidence from sheeted dikes in ocean crust for along-axis magma transport. These results also suggest that lateral transport in dikes is important even at fast spreading ridges where a laterally continuous subaxial magma chamber is present.

2007
Granot, R, Tauxe L, Gee JS, Ron H.  2007.  A view into the Cretaceous geomagnetic field from analysis of gabbros and submarine glasses. Earth and Planetary Science Letters. 256:1-11.   10.1016/j.epsl.2006.12.028   AbstractWebsite

The nature of the geomagnetic field during the Cretaceous normal polarity superchron (CNS) has been a matter of debate for several decades. Numerical geodynamo simulations predict higher intensities, but comparable variability, during times of few reversals than times with frequent reversals. Published geomagnetic paleointensity data from the CNS are highly scattered suggesting that additional studies are required. Here we present new paleointensity results from 18 sites collected from the lower oceanic crust of the Troodos ophiolite, Cyprus (92.1 Ma old). Together with recently published data from the Troodos upper crust we obtain three independent palcointensity time-series. These sequences reveal quasi-cyclic variations of intensities about a mean value of 54 +/- 20 Z Am(2), providing insight into the fluctuating nature of the Cretaceous magnetic field. Our data suggest the CNS field was both weaker and more variable than predicted by geodynamo simulations. The large amplitudes of these variations may explain the wide range of dipole moments previously determined from the CNS. (c) 2007 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

2004
Varga, RJ, Karson JA, Gee JS.  2004.  Paleomagnetic constraints on deformation models for uppermost oceanic crust exposed at the Hess Deep Rift: Implications for axial processes at the East Pacific Rise. Journal of Geophysical Research-Solid Earth. 109   10.1029/2003jb002486   AbstractWebsite

Studies of oceanic crust exposed in tectonic windows and in ophiolites have revealed the importance of normal faulting and attendant tilting of upper crustal rock units in the accretion process at oceanic spreading centers. We present paleomagnetic remanence data from 45 fully oriented samples from dikes, gabbros and a small number of basaltic lavas from fast spread crust exposed along the Hess Deep Rift. Over similar to25 km along this escarpment, dikes and dike-subparallel fault zones dip consistently away from the East Pacific Rise (EPR) while lava flows dip toward the ridge. Underlying gabbro is less deformed but contains widely spaced, low-angle fractures, tentatively interpreted as shear zones. As expected from the crustal age (similar to1.07-1.48 Ma), most remanence data indicate reversed polarity magnetization and are compatible with the expected range of secular variation at the site. Overly steep and directionally scattered gabbro remanence and observed low-angle shear structures within this unit are tentatively interpreted as the manifestation of three-dimensional strain along anastomosing shear zones. Although some remanence directions are incompatible with any plausible deformation history, and thus likely reflect orientation errors, the overall data set is consistent with a model involving sequential rotations on (1) outward dipping, EPR-parallel (similar toN-S) normal faults and (2) Hess Deep Rift-parallel (similar toE-W) normal faults Average rotations for these sequential events are 22degrees to the east (defined by the mean dike attitude) and 10degrees to the south (estimated by bathymetry), respectively. This model best explains the remanence data, observed dikes and lava orientations, presence of dike-parallel fault zones, and the observation of steep, little deformed dikes cutting both east dipping dikes and faults. The data support a structural model for spreading at the EPR in which outcrop-scale faulting and rotation is linked to subaxial subsidence and to consequent development of dominantly outward facing normal faults close to the spreading axis. Because these faults form within the neovolcanic zone, they are subject to burial and are expected to have subdued to little surface expression.

1998
Juarez, MT, Tauxe L, Gee JS, Pick T.  1998.  The intensity of the Earth's magnetic field over the past 160 million years. Nature. 394:878-881.   10.1038/29746   AbstractWebsite

In contrast to our detailed knowledge of the directional behaviour of the Earth's magnetic field during geological and historical times(1,2), data constraining the past intensity of the field remain relatively scarce. This is mainly due to the difficulty in obtaining reliable palaeointensity measurements, a problem that is intrinsic to the geological materials which record the Earth's magnetic field. Although the palaeointensity database has grown modestly over recent years(3-5), these data are restricted to a few geographical locations and more than one-third of the data record the field over only the past 5 Myr-the most recent database(5) covering the time interval from 5 to 160 Myr contains only about 100 palaeointensity measurements. Here we present 21 new data points from the interval 5-160 Myr obtained from submarine basalt glasses collected from locations throughout the world's oceans. Whereas previous estimates for the average dipole moment were comparable to that of the Earth's present field(6), the new data suggest an average dipole moment of (4.2 +/- 2.3) x 10(22) A m(2), or approximately half the present magnetic-field intensity. This lower average value should provide an important constraint for future efforts to model the convective processes in the Earth's core which have been responsible for generating the magnetic field.

1992
Staudigel, H, Gee J, Tauxe L, Varga RJ.  1992.  Shallow Intrusive Directions of Sheeted Dikes in the Troodos Ophiolite - Anisotropy of Magnetic-Susceptibility and Structural Data. Geology. 20:841-844.   10.1130/0091-7613(1992)020<0841:sidosd>2.3.co;2   AbstractWebsite

Sheeted dikes play a central role in the formation of oceanic crust. It is commonly assumed that sheeted dikes intrude vertically upward, from elongated mid-ocean ridge (MOR) magma chambers, but there are no direct observational data bearing on this hypothesis. This assumption contrasts with the intrusive behavior of subaerial volcanoes where magmas rise into shallow central magma chambers that laterally feed vertically oriented dikes. We have studied intrusive directions of sheeted dikes in a structural analogue to oceanic crust, the Troodos ophiolite. Structural and magnetic fabric data of 65 dikes provide consistent results and suggest a broad distribution of shallow (<20-degrees) to nearly vertical, upward magma-transport directions. These data suggest that horizontal emplacement has to be considered for sheeted dikes at MORs, implying more centralized MOR plumbing systems than previously thought. Such plumbing systems provide ample opportunity for complex mixing, fractionation, and contamination of MOR lavas in magma chambers and tabular magma-storage volumes. Whether the MOR magma supply is linear or centralized also has a fundamental effect on crustal accretion processes and the geometry of hydrothermal convection systems.