Large igneous provinces (LIPs) typically form in one short pulse of ~1–5 Ma or several punctuated ~1–5 Ma pulses. Here, our 25 new 40Ar/39Ar plateau ages for the main construct of the Kerguelen LIP—the Cretaceous Southern and Central Kerguelen Plateau, Elan Bank, and Broken Ridge—show continuous volcanic activity from ca. 122 to 90 Ma, a long lifespan of >32 Ma. This suggests that the Kerguelen LIP records the longest, continuous high-magma-flux emplacement interval of any LIP. Distinct from both short-lived and multiple-pulsed LIPs, we propose that Kerguelen is a different type of LIP that formed through long-term interactions between a mantle plume and mid-ocean ridge, which is enabled by multiple ridge jumps, slow spreading, and migration of the ridge. Such processes allow the transport of magma products away from the eruption center and result in long-lived, continuous magmatic activity.

This content is PDF only. Please click on the PDF icon to access.
You do not currently have access to this article.