Date of Award

Spring 2008

Document Type

Legacy Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science (BS)


Marine Science


College of Science

First Advisor

Lisa Gilbert


Bulk properties are thought to vary significantly within the diverse geologic settings comprising the ocean floor. This study sought to synthesize the variability in physical properties (bulk density, grain density, porosity and P-wave velocity) of the upper oceanic crust in the context of the different tectonic settings. Physical property data from the upper 100 and 200 meters of drilled oceanic basement rock from 57 cores obtained during several decades of deep sea drilling expeditions were analyzed in order to evaluate the influences that various magmatic and tectonic processes have on the upper oceanic crust, such as the effects of subduction zones, spreading ridges, fracture zones, hotspots and hydrothermal vent systems. Significant differences between the settings have been determined using ANOVA one way analysis of variance. Normal oceanic crust and tectonic windows tend to be significantly different from the other settings with respect to porosity, bulk density and P-wave velocity. In general, normal oceanic crust and tectonic windows have the highest average values of bulk density and P-wave velocity and the lowest percent porosities while arc and hydrothermal vent system tend to display the opposite; plateaus and seamounts were on neither extreme.