International collaboration brings up first samples of hard rock called gabbro in intact ocean crust
Scientists aboard the research drilling ship JOIDES Resolution have, for the first time, drilled into a fossil magma chamber under intact ocean crust. There, 1.4 kilometers beneath the sea floor, they have recovered samples of gabbro: a hard, black rock that forms when molten magma is trapped beneath Earths surface and cools slowly.
The scientists, affiliated with the Integrated Ocean Drilling Program (IODP), published their findings on April 20 in Science Express, the online edition of the journal Science.
Although gabbro has been sampled elsewhere in the oceans where faulting and tectonic movements have brought it closer to the seafloor, this is the first time gabbro has been recovered from intact ocean crust.
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