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Lithium and lithium isotope profiles through the upper oceanic crust: a study of seawater-basalt exchange at ODP Sites 504B and 896A

Lithium and lithium isotope profiles through the upper oceanic crust: a study of seawater-basalt exchange at ODP Sites 504B and 896A
Lithium and lithium isotope profiles through the upper oceanic crust: a study of seawater-basalt exchange at ODP Sites 504B and 896A
Ocean Drilling Program (ODP) Hole 504B near the Costa Rica Rift is the deepest hole drilled in the ocean crust, penetrating a volcanic section, a transition zone and a sheeted dike complex. The distribution of Li and its isotopes through this 1.8-km section of oceanic crust reflects the varying conditions of seawater alteration with depth. The upper volcanic rocks, altered at low temperatures, are enriched in Li (5.6–27.3 ppm) and have heavier isotopic compositions (7Li=6.6–20.8‰) relative to fresh mid-ocean ridge basalt (MORB) due to uptake of seawater Li into alteration clays. The Li content and isotopic compositions of the deeper volcanic rocks are similar to MORB, reflecting restricted seawater circulation in this section. The transition zone is a region of mixing of seawater with upwelling hydrothermal fluids and sulfide mineralization. Li enrichment in this zone is accompanied by relatively light isotopic compositions (?0.8–2.1‰) which signify influence of basalt-derived Li during mineralization and alteration. Li decreases with depth to 0.6 ppm in the sheeted dike complex as a result of increasing hydrothermal extraction in the high-temperature reaction zone. Rocks in the dike complex have variable isotopic values that range from ?1.7 to 7.9‰, depending on the extent of hydrothermal recrystallization and off-axis low-temperature alteration. Hydrothermally altered rocks are isotopically light because 6Li is preferentially retained in greenschist and amphibolite facies minerals. The 7Li values of the highly altered rocks of the dike complex are complementary to those of high-temperature mid-ocean ridge vent fluids and compatible to equilibrium control by the alteration mineral assemblage. The inventory of Li in basement rocks permits a reevaluation of the role of oceanic crust in the budget of Li in the ocean. On balance, the upper 1.8 km of oceanic crusts remains a sink for oceanic Li. The observations at 504B and an estimated flux from the underlying 0.5 km of gabbro suggest that the global hydrothermal flux is at most 8×109 mol/yr, compatible with geophysical thermal models. This work defines the distribution of Li and its isotopes in the upper ocean crust and provides a basis to interpret the contribution of subducted lithosphere to arc magmas and cycling of crustal material in the deep mantle.
LITHIUM ISOTOPES, OCEAN DRILLING PROGRAM, COSTA RICA RIFT, BASALTS, OCEAN CRUST
0012-821X
187-201
Chan, L-H.
60da0b02-d4a6-445a-b9a6-3a72c7bc7f27
Alt, J.C.
15bc6ffe-26c5-4c34-bb91-f4d076811e28
Teagle, D.A.H.
396539c5-acbe-4dfa-bb9b-94af878fe286
Chan, L-H.
60da0b02-d4a6-445a-b9a6-3a72c7bc7f27
Alt, J.C.
15bc6ffe-26c5-4c34-bb91-f4d076811e28
Teagle, D.A.H.
396539c5-acbe-4dfa-bb9b-94af878fe286

Chan, L-H., Alt, J.C. and Teagle, D.A.H. (2002) Lithium and lithium isotope profiles through the upper oceanic crust: a study of seawater-basalt exchange at ODP Sites 504B and 896A. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 201 (1), 187-201. (doi:10.1016/S0012-821X(02)00707-0).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Ocean Drilling Program (ODP) Hole 504B near the Costa Rica Rift is the deepest hole drilled in the ocean crust, penetrating a volcanic section, a transition zone and a sheeted dike complex. The distribution of Li and its isotopes through this 1.8-km section of oceanic crust reflects the varying conditions of seawater alteration with depth. The upper volcanic rocks, altered at low temperatures, are enriched in Li (5.6–27.3 ppm) and have heavier isotopic compositions (7Li=6.6–20.8‰) relative to fresh mid-ocean ridge basalt (MORB) due to uptake of seawater Li into alteration clays. The Li content and isotopic compositions of the deeper volcanic rocks are similar to MORB, reflecting restricted seawater circulation in this section. The transition zone is a region of mixing of seawater with upwelling hydrothermal fluids and sulfide mineralization. Li enrichment in this zone is accompanied by relatively light isotopic compositions (?0.8–2.1‰) which signify influence of basalt-derived Li during mineralization and alteration. Li decreases with depth to 0.6 ppm in the sheeted dike complex as a result of increasing hydrothermal extraction in the high-temperature reaction zone. Rocks in the dike complex have variable isotopic values that range from ?1.7 to 7.9‰, depending on the extent of hydrothermal recrystallization and off-axis low-temperature alteration. Hydrothermally altered rocks are isotopically light because 6Li is preferentially retained in greenschist and amphibolite facies minerals. The 7Li values of the highly altered rocks of the dike complex are complementary to those of high-temperature mid-ocean ridge vent fluids and compatible to equilibrium control by the alteration mineral assemblage. The inventory of Li in basement rocks permits a reevaluation of the role of oceanic crust in the budget of Li in the ocean. On balance, the upper 1.8 km of oceanic crusts remains a sink for oceanic Li. The observations at 504B and an estimated flux from the underlying 0.5 km of gabbro suggest that the global hydrothermal flux is at most 8×109 mol/yr, compatible with geophysical thermal models. This work defines the distribution of Li and its isotopes in the upper ocean crust and provides a basis to interpret the contribution of subducted lithosphere to arc magmas and cycling of crustal material in the deep mantle.

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More information

Published date: 2002
Keywords: LITHIUM ISOTOPES, OCEAN DRILLING PROGRAM, COSTA RICA RIFT, BASALTS, OCEAN CRUST

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 6079
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/6079
ISSN: 0012-821X
PURE UUID: 1171e1f4-01eb-4b7e-a02b-021025503a4c
ORCID for D.A.H. Teagle: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-4416-8409

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 10 Jun 2004
Last modified: 26 Nov 2019 01:53

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