Chambers, Lynne M. et al. (2004): Phreatomagmatic eruptions on the Ontong Java Plateau; an Aptian (super 40) Ar/ (super 39) Ar age for volcaniclastic rocks at ODP Site 1184

ODP 192
ODP 192 1184

Chambers, Lynne M.
University of Edinburgh, School of GeoSciences, Edinburgh, United Kingdom

Pringle, Malcolm S.
University of Hawaii, United States

Fitton, J. Godfrey
University of Oregon, United States

Phreatomagmatic eruptions on the Ontong Java Plateau; an Aptian (super 40) Ar/ (super 39) Ar age for volcaniclastic rocks at ODP Site 1184
In: Fitton, J. Godfrey (editor), Mahoney, John J. (editor), Wallace, Paul J. (editor), Saunders, Andrew D. (editor), Origin and evolution of the Ontong Java Plateau
Geological Society of London, London, United Kingdom
The discovery of a thick (337.7 m drilled) succession of volcaniclastic sediments at Ocean Drilling Program (ODP) Site 1184, on the eastern salient of the Ontong Java Plateau (OJP), shows that at least part of the plateau formed at or near sea level. All the other parts of the OJP that have been drilled or are exposed on land are composed of basaltic lava flows erupted in a deep-marine environment. The composition of the volcaniclastic rocks at Site 1184 is essentially indistinguishable from that of basaltic lava flows recovered from the other drill sites on the OJP, suggesting that the eastern salient formed during the same magmatic event (at approximately 120 Ma) that formed the main part of the plateau. A steep (-54 degrees ) magnetic inclination preserved in the volcaniclastic succession is consistent with an Early Cretaceous age, but rare nannofossils recovered from the volcaniclastic rocks suggest a much younger Eocene age. In order to resolve this paradox, we attempted to date the succession by the (super 40) Ar/ (super 39) Ar technique, even though the rocks are highly altered. Two samples of feldspathic material separated from basaltic clasts give minimum age estimates of c. 74 Ma. The basaltic clasts have compositions similar to that of their host rocks and are therefore probably cognate. A weighted average of the results of total fusion experiments on four or five small euhedral plagioclase crystals separated from the matrix of the volcaniclastic rocks at each of four levels in the lower part of the succession gave a value of 123.5 + or - 1.8 Ma, and this probably represents a reasonable estimate of the age of eruption. Although not very precise, the (super 40) Ar/ (super 39) Ar results are the best that presently can be obtained from such altered rocks. They rule out an Eocene age for the volcaniclastic succession at Site 1184, and we suggest that the Eocene nannofossils were introduced through contamination, probably along fractures.
Coverage:Geographic coordinates:
West:155.0000East: 165.0000

Geochronology; Stratigraphy; absolute age; algae; Aptian; Ar/Ar; basalts; Cenozoic; Cretaceous; dates; deep-sea environment; Eocene; eruptions; igneous rocks; Leg 192; Lower Cretaceous; marine environment; Mesozoic; microfossils; nannofossils; Ocean Drilling Program; ODP Site 1184; Ontong Java Plateau; Pacific Ocean; Paleogene; paleomagnetism; phreatomagmatism; Plantae; reworking; Tertiary; volcanic rocks; volcaniclastics; West Pacific;