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Quaternary tephra from the Valles caldera in the volcanic field of the Jemez Mountains of New Mexico identified in western Canada

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  27 December 2018

John A. Westgate*
Affiliation:
Department of Earth Sciences, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario M5S 3B1, Canada
Giday WoldeGabriel
Affiliation:
Los Alamos National Laboratory, Earth and Environmental Sciences, Los Alamos, New Mexico 87545, USA
Henry C. Halls
Affiliation:
Department of Earth Sciences, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario M5S 3B1, Canada
Colin J. Bray
Affiliation:
Department of Earth Sciences, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario M5S 3B1, Canada
René W. Barendregt
Affiliation:
Department of Geography, University of Lethbridge, Lethbridge, Alberta T1K 3M4, Canada
Nicholas J.G. Pearce
Affiliation:
Department of Geography and Earth Sciences, Aberystwyth University, Aberystwyth SY23 3DB, Wales, UK
Andrei M. Sarna-Wojcicki
Affiliation:
United States Geological Survey, Menlo Park, California 94025, USA
Michael P. Gorton
Affiliation:
Department of Earth Sciences, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario M5S 3B1, Canada
Richard E. Kelley
Affiliation:
Los Alamos National Laboratory, Earth and Environmental Sciences, Los Alamos, New Mexico 87545, USA
Emily Schultz-Fellenz
Affiliation:
Los Alamos National Laboratory, Earth and Environmental Sciences, Los Alamos, New Mexico 87545, USA
*Corresponding
*Corresponding author at: Department of Earth Sciences, University of Toronto, 22 Russell Street, Toronto, Ontario M5S 3B1, Canada. E-mail address: westgate@es.utoronto.ca (J.A. Westgate)

Abstract

A fine-grained, up to 3-m-thick tephra bed in southwestern Saskatchewan, herein named Duncairn tephra (Dt), is derived from an early Pleistocene eruption in the Jemez Mountains volcanic field of New Mexico, requiring a trajectory of northward tephra dispersal of ~1500 km. An unusually low CaO content in its glass shards denies a source in the closer Yellowstone and Heise volcanic fields, whereas a Pleistocene tephra bed (LSMt) in the La Sal Mountains of Utah has a very similar glass chemistry to that of the Dt, supporting a more southerly source. Comprehensive characterization of these two distal tephra beds along with samples collected near the Valles caldera in New Mexico, including grain size, mineral assemblage, major- and trace-element composition of glass and minerals, paleomagnetism, and fission-track dating, justify this correlation. Two glass populations each exist in the Dt and LSMt. The proximal correlative of Dt1 is the plinian Tsankawi Pumice and co-ignimbritic ash of the first ignimbrite (Qbt1g) of the 1.24 Ma Tshirege Member of the Bandelier Tuff. The correlative of Dt2 and LSMt is the co-ignimbritic ash of Qbt2. Mixing of Dt1 and Dt2 probably occurred during northward transport in a jet stream.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © University of Washington. Published by Cambridge University Press, 2018 

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Quaternary tephra from the Valles caldera in the volcanic field of the Jemez Mountains of New Mexico identified in western Canada
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