Petrology of Young Submarine Hotspot Lava: Composition and Classification

  • R. Hekinian


Underwater volcanism is the predominant phenomenon taking place on Earth. About 71% of the Earth’s sea-floor surface is the site of volcanism, which mainly extrudes basaltic rocks. The mineralogical and chemical compositions of oceanic rocks are important factors that affect the formation of the oceanic crust, because the rock’s composition influences its rate of extrusion, the morphology of lava flows, the cooling rate, the mode of emplacement, etc. The magmatic history of the various geological provinces is also controlled by the processes of partial melting of a heterogeneous mantle and of crystal-liquid fractionation within the magmatic reservoir. Thus, the magmatic history (the rocks’ petrology) can be better understood if we first clearly define and understand both the mineral and chemical composition and the morphology of rocks found in different geological settings and provinces of the ocean floor.


Mantle Source Alkali Basalt Pillow Lava Spreading Ridge East Pacific Rise 
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