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Petrology, geochemistry, and ages of lavas from Northwest Hawaiian Ridge volcanoes

By
Michael O. Garcia
Michael O. Garcia
Department of Geology and Geophysics, SOEST, University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa, Honolulu, Hawai‘i 96822, USA
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John R. Smith
John R. Smith
Hawai‘i Undersea Research Laboratory, SOEST, University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa, Honolulu, Hawai‘i 96822, USA
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Jonathan P. Tree
Jonathan P. Tree
Department of Geology and Geophysics, SOEST, University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa, Honolulu, Hawai‘i 96822, USA
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Dominique Weis
Dominique Weis
Pacific Centre for Isotopic and Geochemical Research, Department of Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC V6T1Z4, Canada
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Lauren Harrison
Lauren Harrison
Pacific Centre for Isotopic and Geochemical Research, Department of Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC V6T1Z4, Canada
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Brian R. Jicha
Brian R. Jicha
Department of Geoscience, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, Wisconsin 53706, USA
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Published:
May 2015

The Northwest Hawaiian Ridge is a classic example of a large igneous province. The morphology and geology of the ridge is poorly characterized, although it constitutes the longest segment (~47%) of the Hawaiian-Emperor Chain. Here we present a new bathymetric compilation, petrographic and X-ray fluorescence (XRF) data for lavas from 12 volcanoes along the Northwest Hawaiian Ridge, and review literature data for the age and isotopic variation of the ridge. The bathymetric compilation revealed that the Northwest Hawaiian Ridge consists of at least 51 volcanoes. The 45 new XRF analyses show that the Northwest Hawaiian Ridge contains tholeiitic and alkalic lavas with compositions typical of lavas from the Hawaiian Islands. The absolute ages and duration of volcanism of individual Northwest Hawaiian Ridge volcanoes are poorly known, with modern 40Ar/39Ar ages for only 10 volcanoes, mostly near the bend in the chain. We infer the initiation age of the Hawaiian-Emperor Bend to be ca. 49–48 Ma, younger than the age for the onset of island arc volcanism in the western Pacific (52–51 Ma). Thus, the kink in the Hawaiian-Emperor Chain and the onset of arc volcanism were not synchronous. Isotopic data are sparse for the Northwest Hawaiian Ridge, especially for Pb and Hf. Two transitional lavas from just south of the bend have Loa trend type Pb and Sr isotopic ratios. Otherwise, the available chemistry for Northwest Hawaiian Ridge lavas indicates Kea-trend source compositions. The dramatic increase in melt flux along the Hawaiian Ridge (~300%) may be related to changes in melting conditions, source fertility, or plate stresses.

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Contents

GSA Special Papers

The Origin, Evolution, and Environmental Impact of Oceanic Large Igneous Provinces

Edited by
Clive R. Neal
Clive R. Neal
Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering & Earth Sciences, 156 Fitzpatrick Hall, University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, Indiana 46556, USA
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William W. Sager
William W. Sager
Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, University of Houston, Houston, Texas 77204-5007, USA
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Takashi Sano
Takashi Sano
Department of Geology and Paleontology, National Museum of Nature and Science, Tsukuba 305-0005, Japan
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Elisabetta Erba
Elisabetta Erba
Department of Earth Sciences, Università degli Studi di Milano, 20133 Milan, Italy
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Geological Society of America
Volume
511
ISBN print:
9780813725116
Publication date:
2015

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