Springer Nature is making SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19 research free. View research | View latest news | Sign up for updates

Sea floor basalt alteration: Some chemical and Sr isotopic effects

  • 472 Accesses

  • 256 Citations


Major element, Sr isotope and trace element data for 16 elements are reported for various weathered zones in three submarine basalt pillows. During the initial stages of alteration, it appears that SiO2, Al2O3, CaO, S, and Ga are lost from the basalt, whereas Fe2O3, total Fe, MnO, K2O, H2O, Cl, B, Rb, and Cs increase. Sr87/Sr86 ratios also increase during weathering. MgO, Na2O, P2O5, Ba, Ni and Cu show significant (10–50%) but less consistent changes. TiO2, Zr, Sr and V show only minor changes (<7%). Zn, Cr, Co, Y and Nb show no changes outside experimental error.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.


  1. Cann, J. R.: Rb, Sr, Y, Zr and Nb in some ocean floor basaltic rocks. Earth and Planetary Sci. Letters 10, 7–11 (1970)

  2. Corliss, J. B.: The origin of metal-bearing submarine hydrothermal solutions. J. Geophys. Res. 76, 8128–8138 (1971)

  3. Dasch, E. J., Hedge, C. E., Dymond, J.: Effect of seawater interaction on strontium Isotope composition of deep-sea basalts. Earth and planetary Sci. Letters 19, 177 (1973)

  4. Garlick, D. G., Dymond, J. R.: Oxygen isotope exchange between volcanic materials and ocean water. Bull. Geol. Soc. Am. 81, 2137–2142 (1970)

  5. Hart, R. A.: Chemical exchange between sea water and deep-ocean basalts. Earth and Planetary Sci. Letters 9, 269 (1970)

  6. Hart, S. R.: K, Rb, Cs contents and K/Rb, K/Cs ratios of fresh and altered submarine basalts. Earth and Planetary Sci. Letters 6, 295–303 (1969)

  7. Hart, S. R., Nalwalk, A. J.: K, Rb, Cs, and Sr relationships in submarine basalts from the Puerto Rico Trench. Geochim. Cosmochim. Acta 34, 145–155 (1970)

  8. Hart, S. R.: K, Rb, Cs, Sr and Ba contents and Sr isotope ratios of ocean floor basalts. Phil. Trans. Roy. Soc. London 268, 573 (1971)

  9. Hart, S. R., Glassley, W. E., Karig, D. E.: Basalts and sea floor spreading behind the Mariana Island Arc. Earth and Planetary Sci. Letters 15, 12–18 (1972)

  10. Hart, S. R., Gunn, B. M., Watkins, N. D.: Intralava variation of alkali elements in icelandic basalt. Am. J. Sci. 270, 315–318 (1971)

  11. Hedge, C. E., Peterman, Z. E.: The strontium isotopic composition of basalts from the Gordo and Juan de Fuca Rises, Northeastern Pacific Ocean. Contr. Mineral. and Petrol. 27, 114–120 (1970)

  12. Hekinian, R.: Chemical and mineralogical differences between Abyssal hill basalts and ridge tholeiites in the Eastern Pacific Ocean. Marine Geology 11, 77–91 (1971)

  13. Kaneoka, I.: The effect of hydration on the K/Ar ages of volcanic rocks. Earth and Planetary Sci. Letters 14, 216–220 (1972)

  14. Kay, R., Hubbard, N. J., Gast, P. W.: Chemical characteristics and origin of oceanic ridge volcanic rocks. J. Geophys. Res. 75, 1585 (1970)

  15. Melson, W. G., Thompson, G.: Glassy Abyssal basalts, Atlantic sea floor near St. Paul's Rocks: Petrography and composition of secondary clay minerals. Bull. Geol. Soc. Am. 84, 703–716 (1973)

  16. Miyashiro, A., Shido, F., Ewing, M.: Diversity and origin of Abyssal tholeiite from the mid-Atlantic Ridge near 24° and 30° north latitude. Contr. Mineral. and Petrol. 23, 38 (1969)

  17. Moore, J. G., Fabbi, B. P.: An estimate of the juvenile sulfur content of basalt. Contr. Mineral. and Petrol. 33, 118–127 (1971)

  18. Muehlenbachs, K., Clayton, R. N.: Oxygen isotope studies of fresh and weathered submarine basalts. Can. J. Earth Sci. 9, 172–184 (1972)

  19. Nel, W. A.: The estimation and distribution of boron in fine-grained south African sediments. Unpublished M. Sc. thesis, University of Cape Town, 1968

  20. Noble, D. C.: Sodium, potassium and ferrous iron contents of some secondarily hydrated natural silicic glasses. Am. Mineralogist 52, 280–286 (1967)

  21. Ozima, M., Kaneoka, I., Aramaki, S.: K-Ar ages of submarine basalts dredged from seamounts in the Western Pacific Area and some discussion of the oceanic crust. Earth and Planetary Sci. Letters 8, 237–249 (1970)

  22. Ozima, M., Zashu, S., Ueno, N.: K/Rb and 87Sr/86Sr ratios of dredged submarine basalts. Earth and planetary Sci. Letters 10, 239–244 (1971)

  23. Paster, T. P.: Petrologic Variations within submarine pillows of the South Pacific-Antarctic Ocean. Ph. D. Thesis. Florida State Univ., Tallahassee.

  24. Pearce, J. A., Cann, J. R.: Ophiolite origin investigated by discriminant analysis using Ti, Zr, and Y. Earth and Planetary Sci. Letters 12, 339–349 (1971)

  25. Philpotts, J. A., Schnetzler, C. C., Hart, S. R.: Submarine basalts: Some K, Rb, Sr, Ba and rare-earth data bearing on their alteration, modification by plagioclase, and possible source materials. Earth and Planetary Sci. Letters 7, 293–299 (1970)

  26. Seitz, M. G., Hart, S. R.: Uranium and boron distributions in some oceanic ultramafic rocks. Earth and Planetary Sci. Letters 21, 97–107 (1973)

  27. Shido, F., Miyashiro, A., Ewing, M.: Compositional variation in pillow lavas from the mid-Atlantic Ridge. Marine Geology (in press)

  28. Thompson, G., Melson, W. G.: Boron contents of serpentinites and metabasalts in the oceanic crust: Implications for the boron cycle in the oceans. Earth and Planetary Sci. Letters 8, 61–65 (1970)

  29. Willis, J. P., Ahrens, L. H., Danchin, R. V., Erlank, A. J., Gurney, J. J., Hofmeyr, P. K., McCarthy, T. S., Orren, M. J.: Some interelement relationships between lunar rocks and fines, and stony meteorites. Proc. Second Lunar Sci. Gong. 2, 1123–1138 (1971)

Download references

Author information

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Hart, S.R., Erlank, A.J. & Kable, E.J.D. Sea floor basalt alteration: Some chemical and Sr isotopic effects. Contr. Mineral. and Petrol. 44, 219–230 (1974). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00413167

Download citation


  • TiO2
  • SiO2
  • Al2O3
  • Fe2O3
  • Mineral Resource