IODP Expedition 340T:
Atlantis Massif Oceanic Core Complex APL
Site U1392 Summary
PDF file is available for download.
A seafloor feature
located 3 m south and 2 m east of the reentry cone for Hole U1309D caught our
interest during Expedition 340T. It was first seen shortly after the seafloor
came into view on the VIT camera, as the positioning for reentry was starting,
and was surveyed again following the logging operations at Hole U1309D. The
motivation for sampling was to test the inference the feature included (or was
solely) geothermal deposits, whose composition might provide insight into any
fluids responsible for the growth or, perhaps, simply lithification
of pre-existing or concurrently deposited sediments. Opportunistic sampling at
this location, now designated Site U1392 (30° 10.1179'
N, 42° 7.1118' W), recovered fragments of possible cap rock that may provide information on processes within the exposed detachment.
The circular shape of
the feature and distinct coloring relative to surrounding seafloor gave the
impression that it was the (still distant) reentry cone. Additional
characteristics became evident with closer view: a distinct rim separates the
center of the feature from surrounding material, possible concentric or stacked
intervals are distinguishable from the observed shadow pattern. This feature
was named Decoy Mound due to our initial misinterpretation that it was the reentry cone for Hole U1309D with sediment encrusted on/around/below it.
To collect a sample
from Site U1392, a modified APC bit was lowered in the pipe to 1500 mbrf and held there while the ship was positioned over
Decoy Mound. The drill string was pushed into contact with the impenetrable
surface below the rim and held there. The cable tension was freed, allowing the
barrel to obtain a gravity core, with intent that the flapper valve could
retain material penetrated. Cable was reeled in to position the barrel again
near 1500 mbrf and then tension released for a repeat
sampling attempt. The core barrel was recovered after this second drop. The
core catcher contained a small amount of material that was catalogued as Core
340T-U1392A-1M, the "M" indicating miscellaneous sample type. The sample
contained mixed rock fragments and some microfossils.