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Title: Rapid Formation of the Ellice and Osbourn Basins and Ontong Java Nui Breakup Kinematics

Breakup of the proposed greater Ontong Java Nui large igneous province during the Cretaceous Normal Superchron can be constrained by the opening of the Ellice Basin (EB) separating the Ontong Java and Manihiki Plateaus and the Osbourn Basin separating the Manihiki and Hikurangi Plateaus. Dating of recovered dredged samples using plagioclase40Ar/39Ar and zircon U/Pb geochronology methods indicates that spreading was well underway in the EB by 118 Ma with full spreading rates up to 3X faster than any observed today of 30–45 cm/yr and spreading likely continued until 112‐108 Ma. Ellice Basin samples show diverse geochemical affinities ranging from mid‐ocean ridge basalt (MORB) or Ontong Java‐like to more enriched OIB‐like. Pb and Nd isotopes from six samples contain varying influences from Pacific MORB and possibly Ontong Java. The geochemistry shows a lack of a clear mantle plume influence despite EB's close temporal and spatial relationship to Ontong Java, while some data resemble the Louisville Seamounts. This compositional diversity complements morphological differences among dredge sites and shows that both in situ MORB and younger overprinted features related to the nearby Tuvalu Seamounts were sampled.40Ar/39Ar geochronology confirms the age of International Ocean Discovery Program Site U1365 near the Osbourn Trough (OT) to be 102.60 ± 0.26 Ma (2σ,n = 18). This age constrains the timing of a spreading reorientation event observed in the OB to coincide with a global plate reorganization event around 105 Ma and estimates the cessation of spreading at the OT to 96 Ma.

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DOI PREFIX: 10.1029
Date Published:
Journal Name:
Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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