Abstract

The strontium isotope ratios of authigenic carbonates from Indian Ocean sea-floor basalts have been used to determine the timing of carbonate mineral precipitation and fluid flow. The samples include calcites from 57.2 Ma crust from Ocean Drilling Project (ODP) Site 715, and calcites, aragonites, and siderites from 63.7 Ma crust from ODP Site 707. At Site 715, calcite precipitation may have begun at any time after the basalts cooled, and it continued until approximately 31 Ma, or 26 m.y. after basalt eruption. At Site 707, aragonite and siderite did not begin to precipitate until about 36 Ma, almost 30 m.y. after basalt eruption, and continued to precipitate until at least 30 and 28 Ma, respectively. Calcite precipitation began at approximately 32 Ma and continued until 22 Ma. These ages suggest that vein mineral deposition and low-temperature fluid circulation in the ocean crust may continue for much longer periods of time than previously observed.

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