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Knowing depositional ages of alluvial fans is essential for many tectonic, paleoclimatic, and geomorphic studies in arid environments. The use of U–Pb dating on secondary silica to establish the age of Neogene-Quaternary clastic sediments was tested on samples of authigenic and detrital opal and chalcedony from depths of ∼25 to 53 m in boreholes at Midway Valley, Nevada. Dating of authigenic opal present as rinds on rock clasts and in calcite/silica cements establishes minimum ages of alluvium deposition; dating of detrital opal or chalcedony derived from the source volcanic rocks gives the maximum age of sediment deposition.Materials analyzed included 12 samples of authigenic opal, one sample of fracture-coating...
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The recent discovery of active methane venting along the US northern and mid-Atlantic margin represents a new source of global methane not previously accounted for in carbon budgets from this region. However, uncertainty remains as to the origin and history of methane seepage along this tectonically inactive passive margin. Here we present the first isotopic analyses of authigenic carbonates and methanotrophic deep-sea mussels, Bathymodiolus sp., and the first direct constraints on the timing of past methane emission, based on samples collected at the upper slope Baltimore Canyon (∼385 m water depth) and deepwater Norfolk (∼1600 m) seep fields within the area of newly-discovered venting. The authigenic carbonates...
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Volcanic eruptions involving interaction with water are amongst the most violent and unpredictable geologic phenomena on Earth. Phreatic eruptions are exceptionally difficult to forecast by traditional geophysical techniques. Here we report on short-term precursory variations in gas emissions related to phreatic blasts at Poás volcano, Costa Rica, as measured with an in situ multiple gas analyzer that was deployed at the edge of the erupting lake. Gas emitted from this hyper-acid crater lake approaches magmatic values of SO2/CO2 1–6 days prior to eruption. The SO2 flux derived from magmatic degassing through the lake is measureable by differential optical absorption spectrometry (sporadic campaign measurements),...
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We examine 20-yr data sets of seismic activity from 10 volcanic areas in the western United States for annual periodic signals (seasonality), focusing on large calderas (Long Valley caldera and Yellowstone) and stratovolcanoes (Cascade Range). We apply several statistical methods to test for seasonality in the seismic catalogs. In 4 of the 10 regions, statistically significant seasonal modulation of seismicity (> 90% probability) occurs, such that there is an increase in the monthly seismicity during a given portion of the year. In five regions, seasonal seismicity is significant in the upper 3 km of the crust. Peak seismicity occurs in the summer and autumn in Mt. St. Helens, Hebgen Lake/Madison Valley, Yellowstone...
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A seismic reflection and gravity profile across the continental margin of the Yucatan Peninsula, Yucatan Basin, Cayman Ridge, and Cayman Trough suggests that sediments in the Yucatan Basin consist of a thick succession of beds dominated by turbidites that overlie a thick but irregular sequence of beds, probably dominated by pelagic deposits. The so-called "Carib beds", present elsewhere in the Caribbean, are not evident in the part of the basin crossed by this profile. The sedimentary section rests on a acoustic basement that probably represents the top of oceanic layer 2. A gravity model indicates that the crust beneath the Yucatan Basin is thin and therefore probably is oceanic in character. The crust thickens...
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The two-phase boundary of seawater was determined by isothermal decompression of fully condensed seawater in the range of 200–500°C. The pressure at which phase separation occurred for each isotherm was determined by a comparison of the refractive index of fluid removed from the top and bottom of the reaction vessel. The critical point was determined to be in the range of 403–406°C, 285–302 bar and was located by the inflection in the two-phase boundary and by the relative volume of fluid and vapor as a function of temperature. The two-phase boundary of 3.2% NaCl solution was found to coincide exactly with that of seawater over the range tested in the present study. The boundary for both is described by a single...
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A single crystal of untwinned orthopyroxene from lunar anorthosite sample 15415, with composition (Mg1.14Fe0.80Mn0.02Ca0.04)(Si1.97Al0.03)O6, has a unit cell in space group Pbca with a = 18.310(15) A ??, b = 8.904(10) A ??, c = 5.214(7) A ??, containing 2 formula units. A set of 742 counter-measured intensity data made with MoK?? radiation has been used to refine the crystal structure in isotropic thermal mode to R = 0.116. Anisotropic refinement led to R = 0.092, but thermal parameters are distorted by non-random errors resulting from poor crystal texture. The resulting structure is in close agreement with that obtained by Ghose [9] for a hypersthene from Greenland. A parameter q, which gives (MgqFe1-q) for cation...
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In this comparative study of variations in the isotopic compositions (Sr, Nd, O and Hf) of the calc-alkaline magmas of the largest two volcanoes, Milos and Santorini, of the Aegean arc (eastern Mediterranean) we demonstrate the complexity of the processes governing the evolution of the magmas on the scale both of the arc and of each volcano. On Santorini, the crustal contamination processes have been limited, effecting the magma gradually during its differentiation. The most differentiated lavas (rhyodacite and pumice) are also the most contaminated. On Milos, by contrast, these processes are very extensive. They are expressed in the 143Nd/144Nd vs. 87Sr/86Sr diagram as a continuous mixing curve between a mantle...
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Sulfide mineralogy and the contents and isotope compositions of sulfur were analyzed in a complete oceanic volcanic section from IODP Hole 1256D in the eastern Pacific, in order to investigate the role of microbes and their effect on the sulfur budget in altered upper oceanic crust. Basalts in the 800m thick volcanic section are affected by a pervasive low-temperature background alteration and have mean sulfur contents of 530ppm, reflecting loss of sulfur relative to fresh glass through degassing during eruption and alteration by seawater. Alteration halos along fractures average 155ppm sulfur and are more oxidized, have high SO4/ΣS ratios (0.43), and lost sulfur through oxidation by seawater compared to host rocks....
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We present data on the triple Ar isotope composition in trapped gas from clean, stratigraphically disturbed ice between 2800 and 3040m depth in the GISP2 ice core, and from basal dirty ice from 3040 to 3053m depth. We also present data for the abundance and isotopic composition of O2 and N2, and abundance of Ar, in the basal dirty ice. The Ar/N2 ratio of dirty basal ice, the heavy isotope enrichment (reflecting gravitational fractionation), and the total gas content all indicate that the gases in basal dirty ice originate from the assimilation of clean ice of the overlying glacier, which comprises most of the ice in the dirty bottom layer. O2 is partly to completely depleted in basal ice, reflecting active metabolism....
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The oxygen isotope compositions and metamorphic mineral assemblages of hydrothermally altered rocks from the Del Puerto ophiolite and overlying volcaniclastic sedimentary rocks at the base of the Great Valley sequence indicate that their alteration occurred in a submarine hydrothermal system. Whole rock ??18O compositions decrease progressively down section (with increasing metamorphic grade): +22.4??? (SMOW) to +13.8 for zeolite-bearing volcaniclastic sedimentary rocks overlying the ophiolite; +19.6 to +11.6 for pumpellyite-bearing metavolcanic rocks in the upper part of the ophiolite's volcanic member; +12.3 to +8.1 for epidote-bearing metavolcanic rocks in the lower part of the volcanic member; +8.5 to +5.7 for...
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Observations of large salinity variations and vent temperatures in the range of 380-400??C suggest that boiling or two-phase separation may be occurring in some seafloor geothermal systems. Consideration of flow rates and the relatively small differences in density between vapors and liquids at the supercritical pressures at depth in these systems suggests that boiling is occurring under closed-system conditions. Salinity and temperature of boiling vents can be used to estimate the pressure-temperature point in the subsurface at which liquid seawater first reached the two-phase boundary. Data are reviewed to construct phase diagrams of coexisting brines and vapors in the two-phase region at pressures corresponding...
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The isotopic composition of lead in Red Sea chloride brine containing 0.5 ppm Pb is found to be similar to that of some Cenozoic ore leads such as galena at Rabigh in Saudi Arabia that may have formed during mineralization accompanying Tertiary rifting. Bir Ranga galena in Miocene sediments from United Arab Republic (Egypt) is also isotopically similar to lead in Red Sea brine. The chlorine brine must be considered a possible mineralizing fluid. Lead isotopes show promise for use in mineral prospect evaluation in that galena from Samrah is isotopically similar to that from Mahd adh Dhahab, which has been the only ore producer in Saudi Arabia since 1945. Drilling at Samrah does indicate a possible economic mineralization....
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Small constructional volcanic landforms and very fresh-looking lava flows are present along one of the inferred active strike-slip faults that connect two small spreading centers (A and B) in the western portion of the Siqueiros transform domain. The most primitive lavas (picritic and olivine-phyric basalts), exclusively recovered from the young-looking flows within the A-B strike-slip fault, contain millimeter-sized olivine phenocrysts (up to 20 modal%) that have a limited compositional range (Fo91.5-Fo89.5) and complexly zoned Cr-Al spinels. High-MgO (9.5-10.6 wt%) glasses sampled from the young lava flows contain 1-7% olivine phenocrysts (Fo90.5-Fo89) that could have formed by equilibrium crystallization from...
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The presence of low-chloride fluids in the lowermost sediments drilled at Ocean Drilling Program Site 808, at the Nankai accretionary wedge, has been considered as prime evidence for long-distance, lateral fluid flow from depth. Here, we re-evaluate the potential role of in situ reaction of smectite (S) to illite (I) in the genesis of this low chloride anomaly. This reaction is known to be occurring at Site 808, with both the S content and S to I ratio in the mixed layer clays decreasing substantially with depth. We show that the bulk of the chloride anomaly can generate by in situ clay dehydration, particularly if pre-reaction smectite abundances (Ai) approach ?? 10-15% of the bulk sediment. The Ai values, however,...
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The 87Sr/86Sr ratios have been determined in 22 volcanic rocks from Oregon and Washington. The emphasis of the study was on andesites and dacites, but several basalts were included. Most of the samples have a very limited range in strontium isotopic composition and all fall within variations previously defined for oceanic basalts. There are no systematic differences between lavas erupted through the pre-Cenozoic basement and those erupted in the Columbia River Embayment. It is concluded that the role played by crustal rocks in the generation of these andesites and dacites is minor or nonexistent, but assimiliation of crustal material may have been a factor for some of the basalts of the Columbia River Group. ??...
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Apparent apatite fission-track ages from drill core penetrating basement on the flank of the Transcontinental Arch in northwestern Iowa range from 934 ?? 86 to 641 ?? 90 Ma. These ages, the oldest reported in North America, record at least two thermal events. The 934 Ma age, which is synchronous with KAr ages in the Grenville Province and many KAr whole-rock and RbSr isochron ages from the Lake Superior region, may document basement cooling caused by regional uplift and erosion of the crust. The remaining fission-track ages are products of a more recent thermal event, relative to the age of the samples, which raised temperatures into the zone of partial annealing. Heating may have occurred between the Middle Ordovician...
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Implications regarding spatially complex continental rifting, crustal extension, and the subsequent evolution to seafloor spreading are re-examined for the northern and southern-rifted margins of the South China Sea. Previous seismic studies have shown dramatic differences in the present-day crustal thicknesses as the manifestations of the strain experienced during the rifting of the margin of south China. Although the total crustal extension is presumed to be the same along the margin and adjacent ocean basin, the amount of continental crustal extension that occurred is much less along the east and central segments of the margin than along the western segment. This difference was accommodated by the early formation...
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A detailed aeromagnetic anomaly map of the Mesozoic seafloor-spreading lineations southwest of Bermuda reveals the dominant magnetic grain of the oceanic crust and the character of the accreting boundary at the time of crustal formation. The magnetic anomaly pattern is that of a series of elongate lobes perpendicular to the fracture zone (flowline) trends. The linear sets of magnetic anomaly peaks and troughs have narrow regions of reduced amplitude anomalies associated with the fracture zones. During the period of Mesozoic geomagnetic polarity reversals (when 1200 km of central North Atlantic seafloor formed), the Atlantic accreting boundary consisted of stationary, elongate, spreading center cells that maintained...
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A bottom simulating reflector (BSR) is regionally distributed throughout much of the Chile Triple Junction (CTJ) region. Downhole temperature and logging data collected during Ocean Drilling Program (ODP) Leg 141 suggest that the seismic BSR is generated by low seismic velocities associated with the presence of a few percent free gas in a ??? 10 m thick zone just beneath the hydrate-bearing zone. The data also indicate that the temperature and pressure at the BSR best corresponds to the seawater/methane hydrate stability field. The origin of the large amounts of methane required to generate the hydrates is, however, problematic. Low total organic carbon contents and low alkalinities argue against significant in...