Abstract

The paper presents the results of a petrological study of samples collected by submersible from volcanic features that floor the intratransform domain of the Garrett Transform Fault. Most intratransform volcanics are typically highly porphyritic and primitive mid-ocean ridge basalt (MORB) (glasses have Mg# higher than 0.65), whereas most volcanics close to the East Pacific Rise – transform intersection zone are nearly aphyric evolved MORB (glasses have Mg# lower than 0.54). In the intratransform volcanics, phenocrysts and megacrysts are plagioclase and olivine and accessory spinel microphenocrysts in the magnesian lavas, and clinopyroxene and plagioclase in ferrobasalts. Variable mineral chemistry of plagioclase and spinel, chemical disequilibria between these phases and surrounding glass, and resorption features and oscillatory zoning in plagioclase suggest that limited magma mixing occurred during genesis of intratransform MORB. Aluminous- to chromian-spinel compositions are in agreement with melt interactions in small magma pockets. These processes are superimposed on complex partial melting events of a heterogeneous source region underlying the intratransform domain. Generation of most ferrobasalts can be explained by crystal fractionation of primitive MORB. Some ferrobasalts appear to derive from discrete magma bodies, since they are not simply connected to the magnesian tholeiites through fractional crystallization processes.

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