2014 GSA Annual Meeting in Vancouver, British Columbia (19–22 October 2014)

Paper No. 208-18
Presentation Time: 1:15 PM


LEE, Jacob W., Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY 40506, WILLIAMS, Scott H., Geology, Occidental College, 1600 Campus Rd. Box 2182, Los Angeles, CA 90041, FLANSBURG, Megan, Department of Geology, College of William & Mary, Williamsburg, VA 23185, BECKENS, Holland, Department of Geology, University of Vermont, Burlington, VT 05405, MILLER, Calvin F., Earth and Environmental Sciences, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN 37235, LANG, N.P., Department of Geology, Mercyhurst University, Erie, PA 16546 and CRIBB, J. Warner, Geosciences, Middle Tennessee State Univ, PO Box 9, Murfreesboro, TN 37132, jacob.w.lee2@uky.edu

The Peach Spring Tuff (PST) covers over 35,000 km2 of AZ, CA, and NV (Glazner et al., 1986) and represents an 18.8 Ma super eruption. The southern Black Mountains (BM) of NW AZ provide a record of the volcanism before, during, and after this explosive event and are the focus of our investigation into the dynamic processes leading up to a super eruption. The source of the PST is the Silver Creek Caldera near Oatman (Ferguson et al. 2013). Surrounding the caldera for up to 15km is an unconformity between pre and post eruption strata where the PST is absent. This suggests either non-deposition or post-eruption erosion; both possibilities imply a changing paleoenvironment with positive topography. Down-cutting channels along the unconformity indicate that the contact is at least partially erosive (Williams et al, 2014).

Stratigraphically below the unconformity in the Secret Pass Canyon area of the southern BM lies a sedimentary package, averaging ~100m thick, consisting of brown, immature, volcanic sediments of trachytic composition. Bulk elemental analysis, lithics, and framework mineralogy identify the underlying pre-PST trachyte lavas (18.9 Ma) (Lang et al., 2008) as the likely source. Interbedded within the upper part of the package are basaltic trachyandesite lava flows. The basaltic trachyandesite lava confirms the introduction of increasingly mafic magmas prior to the super eruption (Flansburg et al., 2014). Sediment/lava interactions, including baked sediment at contacts, pillowed lava, and fragments of sandstone engulfed by lava, demonstrate that sedimentation was coeval with the lower pre-PST trachyte lava as well as the basaltic trachyandesite. Rhyolitic volcaniclastic sediments immediately above the unconformity, together with overlying silicic lavas and pyroclastic flows, contrast strongly with the brown sandstone package (Williams et al., 2014). This sequence thus reveals a rapid transition from copious intermediate to hotter mafic magmatism, and then a shift to much more silicic volcanism. Furthermore, the presence of a sedimentary package and lava units underlying an unconformity represents a transition from depositional basin to an erosive surface in this area. The location and age of the unconformity suggest a changing environment intimately connected to the eruption of the PST.