Density measurements of 1600 samples of core from 889 to 3097 m depth below sea level in the Hawaii Scientific Drilling Program hole near Hilo, Hawaii show marked differences between the basaltic rock types and help define stratigraphy in the hole. Water-saturated densities of subaerial lava flows (occurring above 1079 m depth) have the broadest range because of the large density variation within a single lava flow. Water-saturated densities commonly range from 2.0 to 3.0 with an average of 2.55 ?? 0.24 g/cc. Dikes and sills range from 2.8 to 3.1 g/cc). Densities of hyaloclastite commonly range from 2.3 to 2.7, with an overall average of about 2.5 g/cc. The low-density of most hyaloclastite is due primarily to palagonitization of abundant glass and presence of secondary minerals in the interstices between fragments. Four principal zones of pillow lava, separated by hyaloclastite, occur in the drill core. The shallowest (1983-2136 m) is paradoxically the densest, averaging 3.01 ?? 0.10 g/cc. The second (2234-2470 m) is decidedly the lightest, averaging 2.67 ?? 0.13 g/cc. The third (2640-2790 m) and fourth (2918-bottom at 3097 m) are high, averaging 2.89 ?? 0.17 and 2.97 ?? 0.08 g/cc, respectively. The first pillow zone includes degassed pillows i.e. lava erupted on land that flowed into the sea. These pillows are poor in vesicles, because the subaerial, one-atmosphere vesicles were compressed when the flow descended to deeper water and higher pressure. The second (low-density, non-degassed) pillow zone is the most vesicle-rich, apparently because it was erupted subaqueously at a shallow depth. The higher densities of the third and fourth zones result from a low vesicularity of only a few percent and an olivine content averaging more than 5% for the third zone and about 10% for the fourth zone. The uppermost hyaloclastite extending about 400 m below the bottom of the subaerial basalt is poorly cemented and absorbs up to 6 wt% of water when immersed. Progressing downward the hyaloclastite absorbs less water and becomes better cemented. This change is apparently due to palagonitization of glass and addition of secondary minerals in the deeper older hyaloclastite, a process favored by the increase of temperature with depth. The cementation is largely complete at 1800 m depth where the temperature attains about 20??C. The zone of freshest, uncemented hyaloclastite represents the weakest rock in the drill hole and is a likely level for tectonic or landslide disruption. ?? 2001 Published by Elsevier Science B.V.
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Density of basalt core from Hilo drill hole, Hawaii