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Petrology of basic igneous rocks from the Celebes Sea Basement



Major and trace elements, mineral chemistry, and Sr-Nd isotope ratios are reported for representative igneous rocks of Ocean Drilling Program Sites 767 and 770. The basaltic basement underlying middle Eocene óradiolarianbearing red clays was reached at 786.7 mbsf and about 421 mbsf at Sites 767 and 770, respectively. At Site 770 the basement was drilled for about 106 m. Eight basaltic units were identified on the basis of mineralogical, petrographical, and geochemical data. They mainly consist of pillow lavas and pillow breccias (Units A, B, D, and H), intercalated with massive amygdaloidal lavas (Units Cl and C2) or relatively thin massive flows (Unit E). Two dolerite sills were also recognized (Units F and G). All the rocks studied show the effect of low-temperature seafloor alteration, causing almost total replacement of olivine and glass. Calcite, clays, and Fe-hydroxides are the most abundant secondary phases. Chemical mobilization due to the alteration processes has been evaluated by comparing elements that are widely considered mobile during halmyrolysis (such as low-field strength elements) with those insensitive to seafloor alteration (such as Nb). In general, MgO is removed and P2O5 occasionally enriched during the alteration of pillow lavas. TI, Cs, Li, Rb, and K, which are the most sensitive indicators of rock/seawater interaction, are generally enriched. The most crystalline samples appear the least affected by chemical changes. Plagioclase and olivine are continuously present as phenocrysts, and clinopyroxene is confined in the groundmass. Textural and mineralogical features as well as crystallization sequences of Site 770 rocks are, in all, analogous to typical mid-ocean-ridge basalts (MORBs). Relatively high content of compatible trace elements, such as Ni and Cr, indicate that these rocks represent nearly primitive or weakly fractionated MORBs. All the studied rocks are geochemically within the spectrum of normal MORB compositional variation. Their Sr/Nd isotopic ratios plot on the mantle array (87Sr/87Sr 0.70324-0.70348 with 143Nd/144Nd 0.51298-0.51291) outside the field of Atlantic and Pacific MORBs. However, Sr and Nd isotopes are typical of both Indian Ocean MORBs and of some back-arc basalts, such as those of Lau Basin. The mantle source of Celebes basement basalts does not show a detectable influence of a subduction-related component. The geochemical and isotopic data so far obtained on the Celebes basement rocks do not allow a clear discrimination between mid-ocean ridge and back-arc settings

Year: 1991
DOI identifier: 10.2973/
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