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Yellowstone plume trigger for Basin and Range extension, and coeval emplacement of the Nevada-Columbia Basin magmatic belt

Victor E. Camp, Kenneth L. Pierce and Lisa A. Morgan
Yellowstone plume trigger for Basin and Range extension, and coeval emplacement of the Nevada-Columbia Basin magmatic belt
Geosphere (Boulder, CO) (February 2015) 11 (2): 203-225

Abstract

Widespread extension began across the northern and central Basin and Range Province at 17-16 Ma, contemporaneous with magmatism along the Nevada-Columbia Basin magmatic belt, a linear zone of dikes and volcanic centers that extends for >1000 km, from southern Nevada to the Columbia Basin of eastern Washington. This belt was generated above an elongated sublithospheric melt zone associated with arrival of the Yellowstone mantle plume, with a north-south tabular shape attributed to plume ascent through a propagating fracture in the Juan de Fuca slab. Dike orientation along the magmatic belt suggests an extension direction of 245 degrees -250 degrees , but this trend lies oblique to the regional extension direction of 280 degrees -300 degrees during coeval and younger Basin and Range faulting, an approximately 45 degrees difference. Field relationships suggest that this magmatic trend was not controlled by regional stress in the upper crust, but rather by magma overpressure from below and forceful dike injection with an orientation inherited from a deeper process in the sublithospheric mantle. The southern half of the elongated zone of mantle upwelling was emplaced beneath a cratonic lithosphere with an elevated surface derived from Late Cretaceous to mid-Tertiary crustal thickening. This high Nevadaplano was primed for collapse with high gravitational potential energy under the influence of regional stress, partly derived from boundary forces due to Pacific-North American plate interaction. Plume arrival at 17-16 Ma resulted in advective thermal weakening of the lithosphere, mantle traction, delamination, and added buoyancy to the northern and central Basin and Range. It was not the sole cause of Basin and Range extension, but rather the catalyst for extension of the Nevadaplano, which was already on the verge of regional collapse.


EISSN: 1553-040X
Serial Title: Geosphere (Boulder, CO)
Serial Volume: 11
Serial Issue: 2
Title: Yellowstone plume trigger for Basin and Range extension, and coeval emplacement of the Nevada-Columbia Basin magmatic belt
Affiliation: San Diego State University, Department of Geological Sciences, San Diego, CA, United States
Pages: 203-225
Published: 20150217
Text Language: English
Publisher: Geological Society of America, Boulder, CO, United States
References: 289
Accession Number: 2015-026700
Categories: Structural geologyIgneous and metamorphic petrology
Document Type: Serial
Bibliographic Level: Analytic
Illustration Description: illus. incl. geol. sketch maps
N29°00'00" - N43°30'00", W122°00'00" - W102°30'00"
Secondary Affiliation: U. S. Geological Survey, USA, United States
Country of Publication: United States
Secondary Affiliation: GeoRef, Copyright 2017, American Geosciences Institute. Reference includes data from GeoScienceWorld, Alexandria, VA, United States. Reference includes data supplied by the Geological Society of America, Boulder, CO, United States
Update Code: 201513
Program Name: USGSOPNon-USGS publications with USGS authors
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