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Kelley, DS, Karson JA, Blackman DK, Fruh-Green GL, Butterfield DA, Lilley MD, Olson EJ, Schrenk MO, Roe KK, Lebon GT, Rivizzigno P, * SPAT, Gee JS *.  2001.  An off-axis hydrothermal vent field near the Mid-Atlantic Ridge at 30 degrees N. Nature. 412:145-149.   10.1038/35084000   AbstractWebsite

Evidence is growing that hydrothermal venting occurs not only along mid-ocean ridges but also on old regions of the oceanic crust away from spreading centres. Here we report the discovery of an extensive hydrothermal field at 30 degrees N near the eastern intersection of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge and the Atlantis fracture zone. The vent field-named 'Lost City'-is distinctly different from all other known sea-floor hydrothermal fields in that it is located on 1.5-Myr-old crust, nearly 15 km from the spreading axis, and may be driven by the heat of exothermic serpentinization reactions between sea water and mantle rocks. It is located on a dome-like massif and is dominated by steep-sided carbonate chimneys, rather than the sulphide structures typical of 'black smoker' hydrothermal fields. We found that vent fluids are relatively cool (40-75 degrees C) and alkaline (pH 9.0-9.8), supporting dense microbial communities that include anaerobic thermophiles. Because the geological characteristics of the Atlantis massif are similar to numerous areas of old crust along the Mid-Atlantic, Indian and Arctic ridges, these results indicate that a much larger portion of the oceanic crust may support hydrothermal activity and microbial life than previously thought.

Kent, DV, Gee J.  1994.  Grain Size-Dependent Alteration and the Magnetization of Oceanic Basalts. Science. 265:1561-1563.   10.1126/science.265.5178.1561   AbstractWebsite

Unblocking temperatures of natural remanent magnetization were found to extend well above the dominant Curie points in samples of oceanic basalts from the axis of the East Pacific Rise. This phenomenon is attributed to the natural presence in the basalts of three related magnetic phases: an abundant fine-grained and preferentially oxidized titanomagnetite that carries most of the natural remanent magnetism, a few coarser and less oxidized grains of titanomagnetite that account for most of the high-field magnetic properties, and a small contribution to both the natural remanent magnetism and high-field magnetic properties from magnetite that may be due to the disproportionation of the oxidized titanomagnetite under sea-floor conditions. This model is consistent with evidence from the Central Anomaly magnetic high that the original magnetization acquired by oceanic basalts upon cooling is rapidly altered and accounts for the lack of sensitivity of bulk rock magnetic parameters to the degree of alteration of the remanence carrier in oceanic basalts.

Kent, DV, Gee J.  1996.  Magnetic alteration of zero-age oceanic basalt. Geology. 24:703-706.   10.1130/0091-7613(1996)024<0703:maozao>;2   AbstractWebsite

The youngest sampled submarine lava flow, which erupted June 1993 on the Juan de Fuca Ridge, provides the basis for a tight constraint on the initial or zero-age magnetization state of MORE, Detailed profiles of magnetic hysteresis parameters, Curie temperatures, and unblocking temperatures of NRM with respect to the chilled margin of a pillow fragment show evidence of significant oxidation, which preferentially affected the finest grain-size fraction and principal remanence carrier of the titanomagnetite magnetic mineralogy. The oxidation must have occurred during or immediately after initial cooling, implying that MORE is already appreciably magnetically altered before aging. Nevertheless, successful results of Thellier paleointensity experiments on the basalt sample lend support to the idea that crustal magnetization represented by MORE preserves a record of geomagnetic intensity variations that may be reflected in small-scale magnetic anomalies.

Kent, DV, Kjarsgaard BA, Gee JS, Muttoni G, Heaman LM.  2015.  Tracking the Late Jurassic apparent (or true) polar shift in U-Pb-dated kimberlites from cratonic North America (Superior Province of Canada). Geochemistry Geophysics Geosystems. 16:983-994.   10.1002/2015gc005734   AbstractWebsite

Different versions of a composite apparent polar wander (APW) path of variably selected global poles assembled and averaged in North American coordinates using plate reconstructions show either a smooth progression or a large (approximate to 30 degrees) gap in mean paleopoles in the Late Jurassic, between about 160 and 145 Ma. In an effort to further examine this issue, we sampled accessible outcrops/subcrops of kimberlites associated with high-precision U-Pb perovskite ages in the Timiskaming area of Ontario, Canada. The 154.91.1 Ma Peddie kimberlite yields a stable normal polarity magnetization that is coaxial within less than 5 degrees of the reverse polarity magnetization of the 157.51.2 Ma Triple B kimberlite. The combined approximate to 156 Ma Triple B and Peddie pole (75.5 degrees N, 189.5 degrees E, A95=2.8 degrees) lies about midway between igneous poles from North America nearest in age (169 Ma Moat volcanics and the 146 Ma Ithaca kimberlites), showing that the polar motion was at a relatively steady yet rapid (approximate to 1.5 degrees/Myr) pace. A similar large rapid polar swing has been recognized in the Middle to Late Jurassic APW path for Adria-Africa and Iran-Eurasia, suggesting a major mass redistribution. One possibility is that slab breakoff and subduction reversal along the western margin of the Americas triggered an episode of true polar wander.

Klootwijk, CT, Gee JS, Peirce JW, Smith GM, McFadden PL.  1992.  An Early India-Asia Contact - Paleomagnetic Constraints from Ninetyeast Ridge, ODP Leg 121. Geology. 20:395-398.   10.1130/0091-7613(1992)020<0395:aeiacp>;2   AbstractWebsite

New paleomagnetic results from sedimentary rock and basement of the Ninetyeast Ridge (Ocean Drilling Program Leg 121, Sites 756-758) detail the northward movement of the Indian plate for the past 80 m.y. Analysis of the combined paleolatitude-age profile indicates a distinct reduction in India's northward movement rate at 55+ Ma, interpreted as completion of suturing of Greater India and Asia. India's northward motion slowed from 18-19.5 cm/yr to 4.5 cm/yr for the location of Site 758. Comparison of this profile with paleomagnetic data from the wider Himalayan region indicates that initial contact between northwestern Greater India and southern Asia was already established by Cretaceous-Tertiary time. This supports a possible causal link between the India-Asia convergence and the Deccan Traps extrusion.

Klootwijk, CT, Gee J, Smith GM, Pierce JW.  1991.  Constraints on the India-Asia convergence; paleomagnetic results from Ninetyeast Ridge. Proceedings of the Ocean Drilling Program, Scientific Results. 121:777-884.   10.2973/   Abstract

This study details the Late Cretaceous and Tertiary northward movement of the Indian plate. Breaks in India's northward movement rate are identified, dated, and correlated with the evolution of the India-Asia convergence. Paleolatitudinal constraints on the origin of Ninetyeast Ridge are discussed, and limited magnetostratigraphic detail is provided.Nearly 1500 sediment and basement samples from Sites 756, 757, and 758 on Ninetyeast Ridge were studied through detailed alternating field and thermal demagnetization. Primary and various secondary magnetization components were identified. Breakpoint intervalsintheprimarypaleolatitudepatternforcommon-Site758wereidentified at2.7,6.7,18.5,about53,63.5-67,and68-74.5 Ma. Only the breakpoint interval at about 53 Ma reliably reflects a reduction in India's northward movement rate. The onset of this probably gradual slowdown was dated at 55 Ma (minimal age) based on the intersection of weighted linear regression lines. At the locationofcommon-Site758,northwardmovementslowedfrom 18-19.5cm/yr(fromatleast65to55Ma)to4.5cm/yr(from55 to at least 20 Ma). Reanalysis of earlier DSDP/ODP paleolatitude data from the Indian plate gives a comparable date (53 Ma) for this reduction in northward velocity.Comparison of our Ninetyeast Ridge data and Himalayan paleomagnetic data indicates that the initial contact of Greater India and Asia mayhave already been established by Cretaceous/Tertiary boundary time. The geological record of the convergence zone and the Indian plate supports the notion that the Deccan Traps extrusion may have resulted from the ensuing deformation of the Indian plate. W e interpret the breakpoint at 55+ Ma to reflect completion of the eastward progressive India-Asia suturing process.Neogene phases in the evolution of the convergence zone were correlated with significant changes in the susceptibility, NRM intensity, and lithostratigraphic profile of Site 758.These changes are interpreted to reflect and postdate tectonic phases in the evolutionofthewiderHimalayanandsouthernTibetanregion.Thechangesweredatedandinterpretedasfollows: 17.5Ma,initial uplift of the Higher Himalaya following initiation of intercontinental underthrusting; 10-10.4 Ma, increased uplift and onset of Middle Siwaliks sedimentation; 8.8 Ma, probable reduction in influx corresponding with the Nagri Formation to Dhok Pathan Formation changeover; 6.5 Ma, major tectonic phase evident throughout the wider Himalayan region and northern Indian Ocean; 5.1-5.4 Ma, onset of oroclinal bending of the Himalayan Arc,of extensional tectonism in southern Tibet, and of Upper Siwalik sedimentation; 2.5-2.7 and 1.9 Ma, major phases of uplift of the Himalayan and Tibetan region culminating in the present-day high relief.The basal ash sequence and upper flow sequence of Site 758 and the basal ash sequence of Site 757 indicate paleolatitudes at about 50°S. These support a Kerguelen hot spot origin for Ninetyeast Ridge. Consistently aberrant inclinations in the basalt sequence ofSite757mayberelatedtoasouthwardridgejumpataboutthetime(58Ma)thatthesebasaltswereerupted.Thebasalt sequence of Site 756 indicates a lower paleolatitude (about 43°S), as do parts of the basalt sequence of Site 758 which also have reversed polarity overprints. The low paleolatitudes for Site 756 may be explained by late-stage volcanism north of the Kerguelen hot spot or the influence of the Amsterdam-St. Paul hot spot.

Klootwijk, CT, Gee JS, Peirce JW, Smith GM.  1992.  Neogene Evolution of the Himalayan Tibetan Region - Constraints from ODP Site-758, Northern Ninetyeast Ridge - Bearing on Climatic-Change. Palaeogeography Palaeoclimatology Palaeoecology. 95:95-110.   10.1016/0031-0182(92)90167-4   AbstractWebsite

Magnetic susceptibility, remanence and lithostratigraphic profiles for the Neogene-Quaternary sequence at Site 758 (ODP Leg 121) on the northern Ninetyeast Ridge show distinct changes, dated from biostratigraphy and detailed magnetostratigraphy, at 17.5, 10.4-10.0, 8.8, 6.5, 5.4-5.1, 2.7-2.5, 1.9, and 1.2-1.1 Ma. These magnetic and lithologic changes appear to reflect changes in the supply and character of terrigenous material from the Himalayan-Tibetan region resulting from changes in gradient of the Ganges, Brahmaputra and probably the ancient Indus drainage systems. The sedimentary changes can be correlated with changes in uplift-sensitive markers such as the oceanic Sr-87/Sr-86 ratio and monsoonal induced upwelling, but not clearly so with sealevel variations. We interpret these sedimentary changes, therefore, to primarily reflect changes in the tectonic evolution of the Himalayan-Tibetan region. The changes in the distal marine sedimentary record of the northern Ninetyeast Ridge are compared with isotopic control on the timing of Himalayan-Tibetan tectonic phases and magnetostratigraphic control on their reflection in the proximal Siwalik molasse record. This comparison indicates that the distal Ninetyeast Ridge record can be used to detail and to place minimal age constraints on tectonic phases in the wider Himalayan region and on evolution of the proximal molasse sequence, with a time lag determined for the four earliest changes at less than 1 m.y. The changes at 17.5 Ma and 5.4-5.1 Ma can be interpreted in terms of the causative chain: enhanced plate motion double-line arrow pointing right uplift and sedimentation change double-line arrow pointing right climatic change, supporting arguments that the Late Cainozoic global climatic deterioration is driven by uplift of large plateaus such as the Himalayan-Tibetan region and the Western Cordillera.

Klootwijk, CT, Gee JS, Peirce JW, Smith GM.  1992.  The origin of Ninetyeast Ridge: palaeomagnetic constraints from ODP Leg 121. Journal of Southeast Asian Earth Sciences. 7:247-252.   10.1016/0743-9547(92)90004-u   AbstractWebsite

Palaeomagnetic results from a lower Turonian to Middle Eocene ash-rich sedimentary sequence on Broken Ridge (ODP Sites 752–755) and ash and basalt sequences on Ninetyeast Ridge (90ER) (Sites 756–758) (1) support a Kerguelen hotspot origin for the 90ER volcanic pile; (2) are consistent with models for a large-scale southward jump of the Southeast Indian Ridge (SEIR) west of the 90ER at about 58 Ma; and (3) suggest a possible Amsterdam-St Paul hotspot origin for magnetic overprints on the 90ER.

Koppers, AAP, Gowen MD, Colwell LE, Gee JS, Lonsdale PF, Mahoney JJ, Duncan RA.  2011.  New Ar-40/Ar-39 age progression for the Louisville hot spot trail and implications for inter-hot spot motion. Geochemistry Geophysics Geosystems. 12   10.1029/2011gc003804   AbstractWebsite

In this study we present 42 new Ar-40/Ar-39 incremental heating age determinations that contribute to an updated age progression for the Louisville seamount trail. Louisville is the South Pacific counterpart to the Hawaiian-Emperor seamount trail, both trails representing intraplate volcanism over the same time interval (similar to 80 Ma to present) and being examples of primary hot spot lineaments. Our data provide evidence for an age-progressive trend from 71 to 21 Ma. Assuming fixed hot spots, this makes possible a direct comparison to the Hawaiian-Emperor age progression and the most recent absolute plate motion (APM) model (WK08G) of Wessel and Kroenke (2008). We observe that for the Louisville seamount trail the measured ages are systematically older relative to both the WK08G model predictions and Hawaiian seamount ages, with offsets ranging up to 6 Myr. Taking into account the uncertainty about the duration of eruption and magmatic succession at individual Louisville volcanoes, these age offsets should be considered minimum estimates, as our sampling probably tended to recover the youngest lava flows. These large deviations point to either a contribution of inter-hot spot motion between the Louisville and Hawaiian hot spots or to a more easterly location of the Louisville hot spot than the one inferred in the WK08G model. Both scenarios are investigated in this paper, whereby the more eastern hot spot location (52.0 degrees S, 134.5 degrees W versus 52.4 degrees S, 137.2 degrees W) reduces the average age offset, but still results in a relatively large maximum offset of 3.7 Myr. When comparing the new ages to the APM models (S04P, S04G) by Steinberger et al. (2004) that attempt to compensate for the motion of hot spots in the Pacific (Hawaii) or globally (Hawaii, Louisville, Reunion and Walvis), the measured and predicted ages are more in agreement, showing only a maximum offset of 2.3 Myr with respect to the S04G model. At face value these more advanced APM models, which consider both plate and hot spot motions, therefore provide a better fit to the new Louisville age data. The fit is particularly good for seamounts younger than 50 Ma, a period for which there is little predicted motion for the Louisville hot spot and little inter-hot spot motion with Hawaii. However, discrepancies in the Louisville age-distance record prior to 50 Ma indicate there is an extra source of inter-hot spot motion between Louisville and the other Pacific hot spots that was not corrected for in the global S04G model. Finally, based on six new Ar-40/Ar-39 age dates, the 169 W bend in the Louisville seamount trail seems to have formed at least 3 Myr before the formation of the Hawaiian-Emperor bend. The timing of the most acute parts of both bends thus appears to be asynchronous, which would require other processes (e. g., plume motions) than a global plate motion change between 50 and 47 Ma to explain these two observations.

Koppers, AAP, Yamazaki T, Geldmacher J, Gee JS, Pressling N, Hoshi H, Anderson L, Beier C, Buchs DM, Chen LH, Cohen BE, Deschamps F, Dorais MJ, Ebuna D, Ehmann S, Fitton JG, Fulton PM, Ganbat E, Hamelin C, Hanyu T, Kalnins L, Kell J, Machida S, Mahoney JJ, Moriya K, Nichols ARL, Rausch S, Sano SI, Sylvan JB, Williams R.  2012.  Limited latitudinal mantle plume motion for the Louisville hotspot. Nature Geoscience. 5:911-917.   10.1038/ngeo1638   AbstractWebsite

Hotspots that form above upwelling plumes of hot material from the deep mantle typically leave narrow trails of volcanic seamounts as a tectonic plate moves over their location. These seamount trails are excellent recorders of Earth's deep processes and allow us to untangle ancient mantle plume motions. During ascent it is likely that mantle plumes are pushed away from their vertical upwelling trajectories by mantle convection forces. It has been proposed that a large-scale lateral displacement, termed the mantle wind, existed in the Pacific between about 80 and 50 million years ago, and shifted the Hawaiian mantle plume southwards by about 15 degrees of latitude. Here we use Ar-40/Ar-39 age dating and palaeomagnetic inclination data from four seamounts associated with the Louisville hotspot in the South Pacific Ocean to show that this hotspot has been relatively stable in terms of its location. Specifically, the Louisville hotspot-the southern hemisphere counterpart of Hawai'i-has remained within 3-5 degrees of its present-day latitude of about 51 degrees S between 70 and 50 million years ago. Although we cannot exclude a more significant southward motion before that time, we suggest that the Louisville and Hawaiian hotspots are moving independently, and not as part of a large-scale mantle wind in the Pacific.