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Abstract

Thick, multiple deposits of Pliocene-Quaternary pumice are the dominant products of central Izu-Bonin Arc volcanism, both prior to and during rifting of the backarc Sumisu Basin. Pliocene pre-extension pulses of magmatism within the arc are recorded by crude coarsening-upward volcaniclastic sequences, and Quaternary synextension volcanism produced thick pumice units separated by intervals of hemipelagic sediment. In particular, the period from about 0.2 Ma to the present may have experienced four major episodes of pumice production and deposition with a periodicity averaging 30,000 years. The pumice was delivered to the basin by a combination of direct deposition of fallout from submarine (and possibly also subaerial) eruptions after settling through the water column, resedimentation from basin slopes by submarine debris flows, and redistribution on the basin floor by bottom currents.

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