2015 GSA Annual Meeting in Baltimore, Maryland, USA (1-4 November 2015)

Paper No. 126-5
Presentation Time: 9:00 AM-6:30 PM


POWER, Margaret M., Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences, The Florida State University, 108 Carraway Buildling, Tallahassee, FL 32306 and SCIENTISTS, IODP Expedition 352, Integrated Ocean Drilling Program, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77843, mmp09d@my.fsu.edu

Samples for this study were collected from drill cores taken during the Integrated Ocean Drilling Program (IODP) Expeditions 334 and 352 at Sites U1381 and U1439, respectively. Both of these expeditions were focused around subduction zones and, therefore, had priorities to determine time frames for the initiation of subduction. There are two main objectives for this study, the first being to age-date Pleistocene to Miocene sediments from the western offshore continental margin of Costa Rica (IODP Expedition 334) via calcareous nannofossils. The second objective is to age-date the Miocene sediments from the fore-arc of the Izu-Bonin-Mariana system, east of Japan (IODP Expedition 352), using calcareous nannofossils. Shore-based analysis allows for high-resolution study to determine exact biostratigraphic zonations. These zonations reflect specific time frames based on the occurrence or non-occurrence of certain nannofossil species. Once these zonations are determined, scientists can use the data to identify the initiation of seismic processes that often occur in these regions.

Calcareous nannofossil biostratigraphy has now provided zonations for the samples taken from IODP Expedition 334 cores. Samples from core 6R are assigned to the Pleistocene nannofossil Zone NN19 due to the presence of Pseudoemiliania lacunosa and the absence of Emiliania huxleyi. Using the zonal scheme by de Kaenel (1999), this can further be broken down into Event 18 due to the presence of Gephyrocapsa oceanica larger than 4 µm but less than 5 µm, the presence of Calcidiscus macintyrei smaller than 11 µm, and the absence of Gephyrocapsa caribbeanica larger than 4 µm. De Kaenel (1999) has assigned this event datum an age of 1.718 Ma using orbital time scales and oxygen isotope data. Below these samples, an extensive hiatus ranges from the Pleistocene to the early Miocene. Samples from cores 7R through 10R are assigned to nannofossil zone NN5; however, it is impossible to constrain the top of this zone due to the hiatus. The presence of Sphenolithus heteromorphus and other restrictive species, and the absence of Helicosphaera ampliaperta and Sphenolithus belemnos help constrain these samples to Zone NN5 (13.2Ma to 14.66Ma).

Further work as above will be conducted to analyze Miocene samples from IODP Expedition 352.