ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201910.0023.v1
Subject: Earth Sciences, Geophysics Keywords: serpentinization; elastic moduli; density; ultramafic rocks; oceanic lithosphere
Online: 2 October 2019 (06:28:08 CEST)
Understanding the physical properties of ultramafic rocks is important for evaluating awide variety of petrologic models of the oceanic lithosphere, particularly upper mantle and lower crust. Hydration of oceanic peridotites results in increasing serpentine content, which affects lithospheric physical properties and the global bio/geochemical cycles of various elements. In understanding tectonic, magmatic and metamorphic history of the oceanic crust, interpreting seismic velocities, rock composition and elastic moduli are of fundamental importance. In this study we show that as serpentine content increases, density decreases linearly with a slope of 7.85. We also correlate increase in serpentine content with a linear decline in shear, bulk and Young’s moduli with slopes of 0.48, 0.77, 0.45 respectively. Our results show that increase in serpentine content of lower crust and forearc mantle could decrease elasticity of lithospehere and result in break-offs. Therefore tectonic processes at peridotite rich slow spreading ridges may be strongly affected by serpentine content, particularly serpentinization may be responsible for discontinuities in thin crust, and formation of weak fault zones.