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Horst, AJ, Varga RJ, Gee JS, Karson JA.  2011.  Paleomagnetic constraints on deformation of superfast-spread oceanic crust exposed at Pito Deep Rift. Journal of Geophysical Research-Solid Earth. 116   10.1029/2011jb008268   AbstractWebsite

The uppermost oceanic crust produced at the superfast spreading (similar to 142 km Ma(-1), full-spreading rate) southern East Pacific Rise (EPR) during the Gauss Chron is exposed in a tectonic window along the northeastern wall of the Pito Deep Rift. Paleomagnetic analysis of fully oriented dike (62) and gabbro (5) samples from two adjacent study areas yield bootstrapped mean remanence directions of 38.9 degrees +/- 8.1 degrees, -16.7 degrees +/- 15.6 degrees, n = 23 (Area A) and 30.4 degrees +/- 8.0 degrees, -25.1 degrees +/- 12.9 degrees, n = 44 (Area B), both are significantly distinct from the Geocentric Axial Dipole expected direction at 23 degrees S. Regional tectonics and outcrop-scale structural data combined with bootstrapped remanence directions constrain models that involve a sequence of three rotations that result in dikes restored to subvertical orientations related to (1) inward-tilting of crustal blocks during spreading (Area A = 11 degrees, Area B = 22 degrees), (2) clockwise, vertical-axis rotation of the Easter Microplate (A = 46 degrees, B = 44 degrees), and (3) block tilting at Pito Deep Rift (A = 21 degrees, B = 10 degrees). These data support a structural model for accretion at the southern EPR in which outcrop-scale faulting and block rotation accommodates spreading-related subaxial subsidence that is generally less than that observed in crust generated at a fast spreading rate exposed at Hess Deep Rift. These data also support previous estimates for the clockwise rotation of crust adjacent to the Easter Microplate. Dike sample natural remanent magnetization (NRM) has an arithmetic mean of 5.96 A/m +/- 3.76, which suggests that they significantly contribute to observed magnetic anomalies from fast- to superfast-spread crust.

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.

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.

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.

Varga, RJ, Gee JS, Bettison-Varga L, Anderson RS, Johnson CL.  1999.  Early establishment of seafloor hydrothermal systems during structural extension: paleomagnetic evidence from the Troodos ophiolite, Cyprus. Earth and Planetary Science Letters. 171:221-235.   10.1016/s0012-821x(99)00147-8   AbstractWebsite

Paleomagnetic data from the Troodos ophiolite are used to help constrain models for the relationship between extensional normal faulting and hydrothermal alteration related to production of large-tonnage sulfide deposits at oceanic ridges. We have sampled dikes from the Troodos sheeted complex that have been subjected to variable hydrothermal alteration, from greenschist alteration typical of the low water/rock mass ratio interactions outside of hydrothermal upflow zones as well as from severely recrystallized rocks (epidosites) altered within high water/rock mass ratio hydrothermal upflow zones in the root zones beneath large sulfide ore deposits. These dikes are moderately to highly tilted from their initial near-vertical orientations due to rotations in the hangingwalls of approximately dike-parallel, oceanic normal faults. Comparison of characteristic remanence directions from these dikes with the Late Cretaceous Troodos reference direction, therefore, allows a tilt test to determine whether remanent magnetizations were acquired prior to or subsequent to tilting. Remanence directions for both greenschist and epidosite dikes show similar magnitudes of tilting due to rotational normal faulting and restore to the Late Cretaceous Troodos reference direction upon restoration of dikes to near-vertical positions about a NNW-trending, horizontal axis. These data, along with field observations of focused alteration along normal faults, suggest that epidosite alteration occurred during the early stages of extensional tilting and prior to significant rotation. This sequence of events is similar to that observed for creation of large-tonnage sulfide bodies at intermediate to slow spreading centers which form soon after cessation of magmatism and during the early stages of structural extension. We suggest that the dike-parallel normal faults were initiated as extensional fractures during this early stage of crustal extension, thus providing the necessary permeability for focused fluid flow, and that later slip along these structures during rotational-planar normal faulting caused reduction in permeability due to gouge formation. (C) 1999 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.