Magma flow directions in the sheeted dike complex at superfast spreading mid-ocean ridges: Insights from IODP Hole 1256D, Eastern Pacific



Integrated Ocean Drilling Program (IODP) Hole 1256D successfully sampled a complete section of an intact oceanic crustal sheeted dike complex (SDC) (from 1061 to 1320 meters below seafloor; mbsf) on a 15 Ma old Cocos Plate. A series of rock magnetic measurements were carried out to understand the magmatic processes that accreted this end-member, superfast-spread (200 mm/yr full rate) oceanic crust. Results indicate that main ferromagnetic minerals are predominantly pseudo single-domain (titano)magnetite crystals, responsible for both anisotropy of magnetic susceptibility (AMS) and magnetic remanence signals. AMS fabrics were reoriented into a geographic reference frame using magnetic remanence data, and corrected for a counterclockwise rotation of the Cocos Plate relative to the East Pacific Rise (EPR) ca. 15 Ma. Corrected AMS fabrics were then compared with the orientations of chilled margins previously obtained from Formation MicroScanner (FMS) images of the SDC at Hole 1256D. For some samples taken from close to dike margins, a dike-normal orientation of the minimum AMS axes (Kmin) of prolate AMS ellipsoids mean that the long axis (Kmax) can be used to infer magma flow directions. Subvertical Kmin orientations in the interior of the dikes, however, may have required settling or compaction of the magma shortly after intrusion, thus rearranging the AMS fabric. Despite this orientation of Kmin axes, orientation of Kmax axes indicate a rather constant subhorizontal paleo-flow direction, suggesting that magmas most probably traveled to the surface considerable distances from source regions within the EPR system.