We report new drillstring packer permeability tests conducted during Integrated Ocean Drilling Program (IODP) Expedition 327 in upper oceanic basement in Hole U1362A on the eastern flank of the Juan de Fuca Ridge. Hole U1362A lies within a closely spaced array (40–2460 m separation) of six holes in well‐sedimented 3.5–3.6 m.y. old crust that were drilled, tested, and instrumented with borehole observatories during Ocean Drilling Program Leg 168 and IODP Expeditions 301 and 327. The permeability tests in Hole U1362A complement similar experiments previously conducted in nearby Holes 1026B, 1027C, and U1301B. The new results suggest consistency of upper crustal permeability between Holes U1362A and U1301B, which penetrate 290 and 320 m of basement and are separated by ∼825 m. We obtain similar bulk permeability values of 1–3 × 10−12 m2 for the sections deeper than ∼150 m into basement in both holes. These values are significantly higher than results of packer experiments in the shallowest few tens of meters of basement in nearby Holes 1026B and 1027C, suggesting that the highest basement permeabilities in this area are not found in the shallowest basement layers. Downhole logs of density and penetration rate during drilling and coring in Holes U1362A and U1301B show similar trends within the upper crust, reinforcing the inference that there may be considerable lateral continuity in hydrogeologic properties. This continuity may be associated with the fundamental lithostratigraphy of the crust and/or influenced by ridge‐parallel faulting and fracturing associated with the formation of abyssal hill topography.
Integrated Ocean Drilling Program (IODP) Expedition 327 (summer 2010) was designed to resolve the nature of fluid-rock interactions in young, upper volcanic crust on the eastern flank of the Juan de Fuca Ridge. Expedition 327 drilled, cased and cored two new basement holes, conducted hydrogeologic experiments, and installed subseafloor borehole observatories (Circulation Obviation Retrofit Kits, CORKs). These CORKs were intended to allow borehole conditions to recover to a more natural state after the dissipation of disturbances caused by drilling, casing, and other operations; provide a long-term monitoring and sampling presence for determining fluid pressure, temperature, composition, and microbiology; and facilitate the completion of active experiments to resolve crustal hydrogeologic conditions and processes. Expedition 327 was followed (summer 2011) by R/V Atlantis Expedition AT18-07, with the remotely-operated vehicle (ROV) Jason, to service these CORKs, collect subseafloor pressure data, recover and deploy autonomous fluid and microbial samplers, collect large volumes of borehole fluids, and initiate a cross-hole hydrogeologic experiment using an electromagnetic flow meter. In addition, Atlantis Expedition AT18-07 refurbished an old CORK that could not be replaced during IODP Expedition 327, completing a critical part of the three-dimensional observation network that is currently being used to monitor a large-scale, directional formation response to long-term fluid flow from the crust.