Evolution of porosity and seismic structure of upper oceanic crust; importance of aspect ratios

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doi: 10.1029/91JB01454
Author(s): Wilkens, Roy H.; Fryer, Gerard J.; Karsten, Jill
Author Affiliation(s): Primary:
Univ. Hawaii, Sch. Ocean and Earth Sci. and Technol., Honolulu, HI, United States
Volume Title: Journal of Geophysical Research
Source: Journal of Geophysical Research, 96(B11), p.17,981-17,995. Publisher: American Geophysical Union, Washington, DC, United States. ISSN: 0148-0227
Note: In English. Univ. Hawaii, Sch. Ocean and Earth Sci. and Technol., Contrib. No. 2631. 62 refs.; illus. incl. 2 tables
Summary: Seismic properties of the uppermost igneous crust of the oceans are dominated by porosity effects, that is, the size, concentration, and shape of void spaces. Porosity is initially determined by the physics of extrusion (does an eruption form breccia, pillows, or massive flows?) but is very rapidly modified by alteration and hydrothermal deposition. Laboratory data provide insight into compressional wave velocity-porosity behavior of basalts at a hand sample scale, while well logs provide data at outcrop scale. Relating observations at all scales to porosity structure and extrapolating to seismic scale requires application of rock physics theory. Using information from ophiolites and deep ocean cores, we have defined rock physics parameters for two simple models of upper oceanic crust. The models approximate different levels of void filling by alteration products by differing in the amount of crack (low aspect ratio) porosity they contain. From the models we compute theoretical compressional wave velocity and porosity profiles. Calculated profiles agree well with both well logs and seismic data and illustrate that the increase in seismic velocities measured seismically in the upper crust need not be accompanied by large changes in total porosity. Copyright 1991 by the American Geophysical Union.
Year of Publication: 1991
Research Program: DSDP Deep Sea Drilling Project
ODP Ocean Drilling Program
Key Words: 07 Marine Geology and Oceanography; 18 Geophysics, Solid-Earth; Atlantic Ocean; Bermuda Rise; Crust; DSDP Site 418; Deep Sea Drilling Program; Elastic properties; Fractures; Igneous rocks; Leg 111; Leg 137; North Atlantic; Ocean Drilling Program; Oceanic crust; Porosity; Properties; Upper crust; Velocity structure
Coordinates: N250205 N250207 W0680326 W0680327
N011203 N011400 W0834000 W0834500
N011338 N011338 W0834349 W0834349
Record ID: 1991051451
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