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Petrology and age of volcanic-arc rocks from the continental margin of the Bering Sea: implications for Early Eocene relocation of plate boundaries

Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences

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Abstract

Eocene volcanic flow and dike rocks from the Beringian margin have arc characteristics, implying a convergent history for this region during the early Tertiary. Chemical and mineralogical compositions are similar to those of modern Aleutian-arc lavas. They also resemble volcanic-arc compositions from western mainland Alaska, although greater chemical diversity and a stronger continental influence are observed in the Alaskan mainland rocks. Early Eocene ages of 54.4-50.2 Ma for the Beringian samples are well constrained by conventional K-Ar ages of nine plagioclase separates and by concordant 40Ar/39Ar incremental heating and total-fusion experiments. A concordant U-Pb zircon age of 53 Ma for the quartz-diorite dike is in good agreement with the K-Ar data. Plate motion studies of the North Pacific Ocean indicate more northerly directed subduction prior to the Tertiary and a continuous belt of arc-type volcanism extending from Siberia, along the Beringian margin, into mainland Alaska. Around 56 Ma (chron 25-24), subduction changed to a more westerly direction and subduction-related volcanism ceased for most of mainland Alaska. The increasingly oblique angle of convergence should have ended subduction along the Beringian margin as well. However, consistent ages of 54-50 Ma indicate a final pulse in arc-type magmatism during this period of plate adjustment. -from Authors

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Article
Publication Subtype:
Journal Article
Title:
Petrology and age of volcanic-arc rocks from the continental margin of the Bering Sea: implications for Early Eocene relocation of plate boundaries
Series title:
Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences
Volume
26
Issue:
7
Year Published:
1989
Language:
English
Larger Work Type:
Article
Larger Work Subtype:
Journal Article
First page:
1474
Last page:
1490
Number of Pages:
17