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Ocean-floor dredging and submarine photography in the Revillagigedo region off the west coast of Mexico reveal that the dominant exposed rock of the submarine part of the large island-forming volcanoes (Roca Partida and San Benedicto) is a uniform alkali pillow basalt; more siliceous rocks are exposed on the upper, subaerial parts of the volcanoes. Basalts dredged from smaller seamounts along the Clarion fracture zone south of the Revillagigedo Islands are tholeiitic pillow basalts. Pillows of alkali basalts are more vesicular than Hawaiian tholeiitic pillows collected from the same depths. This difference probably reflects a higher original volatile content of the alkali basalts. Manganese-iron oxide nodules common in several dredge hauls generally contain nucleii of rhyolitic pumice or basalt pillow fragments. The pumice floated to its present site from subaerial eruptions, became waterlogged and sank, and was then coated with manganese-iron oxides. The thickness of palagonite rinds on the glassy pillow fragments is proportional to the thickness of manganese-iron oxide layers, and both are a measure of the age of the nodule. Both oldest basalts (10-100 m.y.) and youngest (less than 1 m.y.) are along the Clarion fracture zone, whereas basalts from Roca Partida and San Benedicto volcanoes are of intermediate age. ?? 1970.
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Submarine basalt from the Revillagigedo Islands region, Mexico