Drilling deep into young oceanic crust, Hole 504B, Costa Rica rift

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Abstract

Hole 504B is by far the deepest hole yet drilled into the oceanic crust in situ, and it therefore provides the most complete "ground truth' now available to test our models of the structure and evolution of the upper oceanic crust. Cored in the eastern equatorial Pacific Ocean in 5.9-m.y.-old crust that formed at the Costa Rica Rift, hole 504B now extends to a total depth of 1562.3 m below seafloor, penetrating 274.5 m of sediments and 1287.8 m of basalts. The site was located where the rapidly accumulating sediments impede active hydrothermal circulation in the crust. As a result, the conductive heat flow approaches the value of about 200 mW/m2 predicted by plate tectonic theory. A comprehensive suite of logs and downhole measurements generally indicate that the basalt section can be divided on the basis of lithology, alteration, and porosity into three zones that are analogous to layers 2A, 2B, and 2C described by marine seismologists on the basis of characteristic seismic velocities. -from Authors

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)79-102
Number of pages24
JournalReviews of Geophysics
Volume27
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1989

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Costa Rica
deep drilling
drilling
oceanic crust
crusts
basalt
crust
hydrothermal circulation
seismic velocity
plate tectonics
upper crust
model test
heat flow
sediment
sediments
lithology
seafloor
porosity
plates (tectonics)
ground truth

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics

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Drilling deep into young oceanic crust, Hole 504B, Costa Rica rift. / Becker, Keir.

In: Reviews of Geophysics, Vol. 27, No. 1, 1989, p. 79-102.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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