FS SONNE Fahrtbericht / Cruise Report SO208, Leg 1 & 2, Propagation of Galápagos Plume Material in the Equatorial East Pacific (PLUMEFLUX) : Caldera/Costa Rica – Guayaquil/Ecuador 15.07. - 29.08.2010

Werner, Reinhard, Hauff, Folkmar and Hoernle, Kaj, eds. (2010) FS SONNE Fahrtbericht / Cruise Report SO208, Leg 1 & 2, Propagation of Galápagos Plume Material in the Equatorial East Pacific (PLUMEFLUX) : Caldera/Costa Rica – Guayaquil/Ecuador 15.07. - 29.08.2010 . IFM-GEOMAR Report, 39 . IFM-GEOMAR, Kiel, 63, 22, 25, 1 pp. DOI 10.3289/ifm-geomar_rep_39_2010.

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Abstract

The research project SO208 PLUMEFLUX (Propagation of Galápagos Plume Material in the Equatorial East Pacific) is funded by the German Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) and focusses on seamounts on the Cocos Plate, formed at the East Pacific Rise but presently located off the coast of NW Costa Rica and Nicaragua (Leg 1), and on the Cocos-Nazca-Spreading Center(CNS; Leg 2). The studies conducted on cruise SO208 included multi-beam mapping, sediment echo sounding, hard rock sampling, as well as sedimentological and biological sampling. The major geological targets of Leg 1 were (1) to evaluate if the seamounts off northern Costa Rica and Nicaragua were formed by the Galápagos hotspot and thus to constrain the extent of influence by the Galápagos plume on the upper asthenosphere and lithosphere and (2) to constrain better the material input into the Central American subduction zone. Leg 2 aimed to sample profiles of the seafloor perpendicular to the CNS using the mobile drill Rockdrill 2 of the British Geological Survey, in order to reconstruct plume-ridge interaction in the past to complement morphological, petrological and geochemical studies carried out on previous cruises along the ridge axis (e.g. SO158). The integration of the results with existing data should contribute towards a better understanding of transport processes of plume material in the upper mantle and of the geodynamic evolution of the central East Pacific. The sedimentological studies carried out on both Legs of SO208 focussed on radiolarian assemblages.
SO208 startet in Caldera/Costa Rica on July 15th, 2010, and ended in Guayaquil/Ecuador on August 29th, 2010. During Leg 1 nineteen seamounts on the Cocos Plate have been mapped and sampled. Within only 12 days at sea, a total of 41 stations(28 dredges, 2 TV grabs, and 11 multicorers) were carried out. Of these deployments, 23 recovered magmatic rocks, 15 volcaniclastics, and 13 Mn-Fe oxides. The samples comprise mainly pillow and sheet lavas, often with fresh glassy margins, and a wide spectrum of volcaniclastic rocks. Notably, we found several indications for explosive volcanic activity at water depths > 3,000 m. Due to a series of unfortunate circumstances beyond our control, the planned Rockdrill 2 deployment on Leg 2 had to be cancelled. Instead we mapped and collected samples via dredging from 60 localities along five profiles perpendicular to CNS. A total of 83 stations (76 dredges, 3 TVgrabs, and 4 multicorers) were carried out. Of these deployments, 59 recovered magmatic rocks, 3 volcaniclastics, 51 volcanic glass, and 6 Mn-Fe oxides, making this a successful cruise despite the Rockdrill problem. The first and most detailed profile (with 23 sampled localities) extended from the ridge axis to the north at ~92°W. The morphology shows alternating regions of abyssal ridges and valleys (possibly reflecting less plume input into the ridge) and thicker elevated bands commonly containing seamounts, some of which are tectonically deformed (possibly reflecting axial ridge type morphology and thus greater plume input into the ridge). The second profile was carried out at the shallowest part of the ridge axis, closest to the hotspot, just to the east of the 91° Transform Fault.
The third profile extended 30 km north of the ridge (at ~89°30´W), where a formerly on-axis seamount has been split in half. We want to evaluate how far in the past the unique enriched geochemical anomaly associated with the seamount persisted in the past. Thirteen sites were successfully sampled along a fourth profile at 89°10’W, extending 35 km north and 35 km south of the CNS into crust up to 500,000 yrs old. This site was selected, because a major depleted geochemical anomaly exists at that location. A final short profile was carried out to the north and south and east (on the ridge axis) of a lava plateau at 88°20’W that represents an enriched anomaly along the ridge axis. The morphology of the area studied on Leg 2 strongly suggests that the intensity of interaction of the plume with the ridge has varied considerably over the last several hundred thousand years along the entire part of the ridge that we studied. Geochemical data should allow us to constrain better variations in plume-ridge interaction through time.
Biological material was obtained successfully as macrofauna and as sediment samples containing meiofaunal organisms with the help of a geological chain bag dredge, sediment traps, a multicorer and a TV-grab. Macrofaunal organisms were recovered at 93 out of 124 stations, 37 stations revealed sediment samples. During the cruise, a total of 8,598 meiofaunal organisms were centrifuged out of about 45 kg of sediment and sorted to animal group. Foraminifera and Nematoda dominated the meiofauna, followed by Copepoda and at a lower abundance by Tardigrada, Kinorhyncha and Loricifera. We also discovered a highly diverse benthic macrofauna, mainly represented by Porifera, Bryozoa, Annelida, Brachiopoda and even a few monoplacophoran
molluscs.

Document Type: Report (Cruise Report)
Keywords: Geodynamics; Volcanology; Galápagos, Eastern Pacific, Mantle plumes,mid-ocean ridge, seamounts, plume-ridge-interaction, volcanism, bathymetry, biodiversity, biogeography
Research affiliation: OceanRep > The Future Ocean - Cluster of Excellence
OceanRep > GEOMAR > FB4 Dynamics of the Ocean Floor > FB4-MUHS Magmatic and Hydrothermal Systems
DOI etc.: 10.3289/ifm-geomar_rep_39_2010
ISSN: 1614-6298
Projects: PLUMEFLUX
Expeditions/Models/Experiments:
Date Deposited: 17 Dec 2010 11:37
Last Modified: 21 Jan 2013 13:14
URI: http://oceanrep.geomar.de/id/eprint/10586

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