Deep-Sea News

Expedition to SW Indian Ridge Completed

Expedition 360 of the JOIDES Resolution ended on 30 January 2016. The Indian Ridge Moho Expedition did not meet their goal of drilling 1300 meters into the Atlantis Bank gabbroic massif, but they did drill the deepest ever single-leg hole into hard rock (789 m), which is currently the 5th deepest ever drilled into the hard ocean crust.

 

They also obtained both the longest (2.85 m) and widest (18 cm) single pieces of hard rock ever recovered by the International Ocean Discovery Program and its predecessors.

The expedition included live video events, a blog, and multiple podcasts, all of which are archived on the joidesresloution.org website.

The team’s objective was to recover gabbros (an intrusive igneous rock that forms when magma is trapped beneath Earth's surface and cools slowly) and crust-mantle transition to understand the processes that creates mid-ocean ridge basalt, but they will have to return to the site to meet all of these objectives.

Ultimately they hope to resolve the controversy as to whether the boundary between Earth's mantle and crust, or Moho, at slow spreading ridges can be a serpentinization front. Serpentine contains minerals that give it a green color. The results will profoundly affect our understanding of magma generation and the linkage between the mantle, melt, and crust.

Other objectives include testing the nature of magnetic reversals in plutonic rock, or intrusive igneous rock, and documenting the stress-strain evolution of a plate boundary undergoing asymmetric seafloor spreading.

According to Alejandra Martinez, “We have learned a lot of geology, we've grown as educators, and we've made friends that are more like family now.”

For more information, click here.

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