Rheomorphic ignimbrites of the Rogerson Formation, central Snake River plain, USA: record of mid-Miocene rhyolitic explosive eruptions and associated crustal subsidence along the Yellowstone hotspot track

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  • Thomas R. Knott
  • Marc K. Reichow
  • Michael J. Branney
  • David R. Finn
  • Robert S. Coe
  • Storey, Michael
  • Bill Bonnichsen
Rogerson Graben, USA, is critically placed at the intersection between the Yellowstone hotspot track and the southern projection of the west Snake River rift. Eleven rhyolitic members of the re-defined, ≥420-m-thick, Rogerson Formation record voluminous high-temperature explosive eruptions, emplacing extensive ashfall and rheomorphic ignimbrite sheets. Yet, each member has subtly distinct field, chemical and palaeomagnetic characteristics. New regional correlations reveal that the Brown's View ignimbrite covers ≥3300 km2, and the Wooden Shoe ignimbrite covers ≥4400 km2 and extends into Nevada. Between 11.9 and ∼8 Ma, the average frequency of large explosive eruptions in this region was 1 per 354 ky, about twice that at Yellowstone. The chemistry and mineralogy of the early rhyolites show increasing maturity with time possibly by progressive fractional crystallisation. This was followed by a trend towards less-evolved rhyolites that may record melting and hybridisation of a mid-crustal source region. Contemporaneous magmatism-induced crustal subsidence of the central Snake River Basin is recorded by successive ignimbrites offlapping and thinning up the N-facing limb of a regional basin-margin monocline, which developed between 10.59 and 8 Ma. The syn-volcanic basin topography contrasted significantly with the present-day elevated Yellowstone hotspot plateau. Concurrent basin-and-range extension produced the N-trending Rogerson Graben: early uplift of the Shoshone Hills (≥10.34 Ma) was followed by initiation of the Shoshone Fault and an E-sloping half-graben (∼10.3--10.1 Ma). The graben asymmetry then reversed with initiation of the Brown's Bench Fault (≥8 Ma), which remained intermittently active until the Pliocene.
TidsskriftBulletin of Volcanology
Antal sider25
StatusUdgivet - apr. 2016

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