Radiocarbon dating of silica sinter deposits in shallow drill cores from the Upper Geyser Basin, Yellowstone National Park

Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research
By: , and 

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Abstract

To explore the timing of hydrothermal activity at the Upper Geyser Basin (UGB) in Yellowstone National Park, we obtained seven new accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS) radiocarbon 14C ages of carbonaceous material trapped within siliceous sinter. Five samples came from depths of 15–152 cm within the Y-1 well, and two samples were from well Y-7 (depths of 24 cm and 122 cm). These two wells, at Black Sand and Biscuit Basins, respectively, were drilled in 1967 as part of a scientific drilling program by the U.S. Geological Survey (White et al., 1975). Even with samples as small as 15 g, we obtained sufficient carbonaceous material (a mixture of thermophilic mats, pollen, and charcoal) for the 14C analyses. Apparent time of deposition ranged from 3775 ± 25 and 2910 ± 30 14C years BP at the top of the cores to about 8000 years BP at the bottom. The dates are consistent with variable rates of sinter formation at individual sites within the UGB over the Holocene. On a basin-wide scale, though, these and other existing 14C dates hint that hydrothermal activity at the UGB may have been continuous throughout the Holocene.

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Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Radiocarbon dating of silica sinter deposits in shallow drill cores from the Upper Geyser Basin, Yellowstone National Park
Series title Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research
DOI 10.1016/j.jvolgeores.2015.12.005
Volume 310
Year Published 2016
Language English
Publisher Elsevier
Publisher location Amsterdam
Contributing office(s) Volcano Science Center
Description 5 p.
First page 132
Last page 136
Country United States
State Wyoming
Other Geospatial Upper Geyser Basin, Yellowstone National Park
Online Only (Y/N) N
Additional Online Files (Y/N) N