skip to main content


This content will become publicly available on October 11, 2024

Title: Site U1576
The strategy for International Ocean Discovery Program (IODP) Expedition 391 was to drill at three distributed locations on Walvis Ridge and one in Guyot Province, providing an age transect along the Tristan-Gough-Walvis (TGW) hotspot track. Site U1576 (proposed Site VB-14A), located on the western flank of Valdivia Bank (Figure F1), is one of two sites on this edifice selected to investigate the type of volcanism, possible plume-ridge interaction, the older extent of hotspot track geochemical zonation, and the age progression. Both hotspot models and the age progression of Homrighausen et al. (2019) predict an age of ~80–85 Ma (Figures F2, F3). A magnetic anomaly map indicates that Site U1576 is located on a prominent negative anomaly (Figure F4) that is thought to be Chron 33r (79.9–83.6 Ma; Ogg, 2020).  more » « less
Award ID(s):
1326927
NSF-PAR ID:
10468470
Author(s) / Creator(s):
; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; more » ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; « less
Publisher / Repository:
International Ocean Discovery Program
Date Published:
Journal Name:
Proceedings of the International Ocean Discovery Program Expedition reports
Volume:
391
Issue:
104
ISSN:
2377-3189
Subject(s) / Keyword(s):
["International Ocean Discovery Program","IODP","JOIDES Resolution","Expedition 391","Walvis Ridge Hotspot","Site U1576","Earth Connections","Tristan-Gough-Walvis Hotspot","true polar wander","isotopic zonation","large low shear-wave velocity province","LLSVP","massive lava flow","sheet lava flow","pillow lavas","fresh volcanic glass","tholeiitic basalt","basaltic andesite"]
Format(s):
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
More Like this
  1. The strategy for International Ocean Discovery Program (IODP) Expedition 391 was to drill at three distributed locations on Walvis Ridge and one in Guyot Province, providing an age transect along the Tristan-Gough-Walvis (TGW) hotspot track. Site U1577 (proposed Site VB-13A) is located on the eastern flank of Valdivia Bank (Figure F1). The purpose of this site and Site U1576 (on the west side of Valdivia Bank) is to investigate the type of volcanism, possible plume-ridge interaction, geochemical heterogeneity, and the age progression of the hotspot track. Both hotspot models and the age progression of Homrighausen et al. (2019) predict an age of ~80–85 Ma (Figures F2, F3). A magnetic anomaly map indicates that Site U1577 is located on a prominent positive anomaly (Figure F4) that is thought to be the young end of Chron 34n (83.7 Ma; Ogg, 2020). 
    more » « less
  2. The strategy for International Ocean Discovery Program (IODP) Expedition 391 (Walvis Ridge Hotspot) was to drill at three general locations on Walvis Ridge and one in Guyot Province, providing an age transect along the Tristan-Gough-Walvis (TGW) hotspot track. Site U1575 (proposed Site FR-1B), located on the lower Walvis Ridge between Valdivia Bank and Frio Ridge (Figure F1), is the easternmost and presumably the oldest site. Both hotspot models and the age progression of Homrighausen et al. (2019) predict an age of ~100 Ma (Figures F2, F3). Site U1575 is thus an important sample of the early TGW track shortly after it transitioned from the continental flood basalt to the submarine hotspot track setting. 
    more » « less
  3. Hotspot tracks (chains of seamounts, ridges, and other volcanic structures) provide important records of plate motions, as well as mantle geodynamics, magma flux, and mantle source compositions. The Tristan-Gough-Walvis Ridge (TGW) hotspot track, extending from the active volcanic islands of Tristan da Cunha and Gough through a province of guyots and then along Walvis Ridge to the Etendeka flood basalt province, forms one of the most prominent and complex global hotspot tracks. The TGW hotspot track displays a tight linear age progression in which ages increase from the islands to the flood basalts (covering ~135 My). Unlike Pacific tracks, which are often simple, nearly linear chains of seamounts, the TGW track is alternately a steep-sided narrow ridge, an oceanic plateau, subparallel linear ridges and chains of seamounts (most are flat-topped guyots). The track displays isotopic zonation over the last ~70 My. The zonation appears near the middle of the track just before it splits into two to three chains of ridge- and guyot-type seamounts. Walvis Ridge, forming the older part of the track, is also overprinted with age-progressive late-stage volcanism, which was emplaced ~30–40 My after the initial eruptions and has a distinct isotopic composition. The plan for Expedition 391 was to drill at six sites, three along Walvis Ridge and three in the seamounts of the Guyot Province, to collect igneous rocks to better understand the formation of volcanic edifices, the temporal and geochemical evolution of the hotspot, and the variation in paleolatitudes at which the volcanic edifices formed. After a delay of 18 days to address a shipboard Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, Expedition 391 proceeded to drill at four of the proposed sites: three sites on Walvis Ridge around Valdivia Bank, an ocean plateau within the ridge, and one site on the lower flank of a guyot in the Center track of the Guyot Province, a ridge located between the Tristan subtrack (which extends from the end of Walvis Ridge to the islands of Tristan da Cunha) and the Gough subtrack (which extends from Walvis Ridge to Gough Island). The first hole was drilled at Site U1575, located on a low portion of the northeastern Walvis Ridge just north of Valdivia Bank. At this location, 209.9 m of sediments and 122.4 m of igneous basement were cored. The sediments ranged in age from Late Pleistocene (~0.43–1.24 Ma) to Late Cretaceous (Campanian; 72–78 Ma). The igneous basement comprised 10 submarine lava units consisting of pillow, lobate, sheet, and massive lava flows, the thickest of which was ~21 m. Most lavas are tholeiitic, but some alkalic basalts were recovered. A portion of the igneous succession consists of low-Ti basalts, which are unusual because they appear in the Etendeka flood basalts but have not been previously found on Walvis Ridge. Two holes were drilled at Site U1576 on the west flank of Valdivia Bank. The first of these holes was terminated because a bit jammed shortly after entering the igneous basement. Hole U1576A recovered a remarkable ~380 m thick sedimentary section consisting mostly of chalk covering a nearly complete sequence from Late Pleistocene (~0.43–1.24 Ma) to Late Cretaceous (Campanian; ~79–81.38 Ma). These sediments display short and long cyclic color changes that imply astronomically forced and longer term paleoenvironmental changes. The igneous basement recovered in Hole U1576B yielded 11 submarine lava units (total thickness = ~65 m). The flows range from pillows to massive flows with compositions varying from tholeiitic basalt to basaltic andesite, only the second occurrence of the latter composition recovered from the TGW track thus far. These units are separated by seven sedimentary chalk units that range 0.1–11.6 m in thickness, implying a long-term interplay of sedimentation and lava eruptions. These intercalated sediments revealed Upper Cretaceous (Campanian) ages of ~77–79 Ma for the upper two interbeds and ~79–81.38 Ma for the lower beds. Coring at Site U1577, on the extreme eastern flank of Valdivia Bank, penetrated a 154.8 m thick sedimentary section ranging from the Paleocene (Thanetian; ~58.8 Ma) to Upper Cretaceous (Campanian; ~81.43–83.20 Ma). Igneous basement coring progressed only 39.1 m below the sediment/basalt contact, recovering three massive submarine tholeiitic basalt lava flows that are 4.1, 15.5, and >19.1 m thick, respectively. Paleomagnetic data from Sites U1577 and U1576 indicate that the former volcanic basement formed just before the end of the Cretaceous Normal Superchron and the latter during Chron 33r, shortly afterward. Biostratigraphic and paleomagnetic data suggest that Valdivia Bank becomes younger from east to west. Site U1578, located on a Center track guyot, provided a long and varied igneous section. After coring through 184.3 m of pelagic carbonate sediments mainly consisting of Eocene and Paleocene chalk (~55.64–63.5 Ma), Hole U1578A cored 302.1 m of igneous basement. Basement lavas are largely pillows but are interspersed with sheet and massive flows. Lava compositions are mostly alkalic basalts with some hawaiite. Several intervals contain abundant olivine (some fresh), and some of the pillow stacks consist of basalt with remarkably high Ti content. The igneous sequence is interrupted by 10 sedimentary interbeds consisting of chalk and volcaniclastics and ranging 0.46–10.19 m in thickness. Investigations of toothpick samples from the intercalated sediments were examined, each revealing the same age range of ~63.5–64.81 Ma (lower Paleocene; Danian). Paleomagnetic data display a change in basement magnetic polarity ~100 m above the base of the hole. Combining magnetic stratigraphy with biostratigraphic data, the igneous section is inferred to span >1 My. Nearly 7 months after Expedition 391, JOIDES Resolution transited from Cape Town to the north Atlantic. During this transit (Expedition 397T), 7.9 days of ship time were used to drill two holes (U1584A and U1585A) at sites on the Gough and Tristan tracks that had been omitted because of COVID-19–related time loss on the earlier cruise. For both, coring was begun only a short distance above the igneous basement to save time. The 75.2 m thick section drilled in Hole U1584A contains two sedimentary units: clay-rich carbonate sediments overlie a pumice-dominated volcaniclastic deposit containing basalt fragments. Because the goal was to core basalt and the base of the volcaniclastic deposit was not imaged in the seismic profile, the hole was terminated early to save operation time for the next site. In Hole U1585A, coring penetrated a 273.5 m thick sediment section overlying an 81.2 m thick pile of massive basalt flows. The sediment section is divided into four units: The uppermost unit consists of nannofossil chalk; The two intermediate units contain alternating chalk and volcaniclastic sediments containing several breccia units; and The lowermost unit consists of volcanic breccia containing juvenile blocks, bombs, and accretionary lapilli. This thick sedimentary section documents a transition from shallow-water volcanism to open-ocean sedimentation as the seamount subsided. The thick underlying basalt section is made up of four sparsely to highly phyric massive flows, the thickest of which is >43 m thick. Samples of these units are mostly basalt with a few trachybasalts and one trachyandesite. Although the igneous penetration was less than planned, coring during Expeditions 391 and 397T obtained samples that clearly will lead to an improved understanding of the evolution of the TGW hotspot and its track. Reasonable recovery of fresh basalt in some holes provides ample samples for geochemical, geochronologic, and paleomagnetic studies. Good recovery of Late Cretaceous and early Cenozoic chalk successions provides samples for paleoenvironmental study. 
    more » « less
  4. Hotspot tracks (quasilinear chains of seamounts, ridges, and other volcanic structures) provide important records of plate motions, as well as mantle geodynamics, magma flux, and mantle source compositions. The Tristan-Gough-Walvis Ridge (TGW) hotspot track, extending from the active volcanic islands of Tristan da Cunha and Gough through a province of guyots and then along Walvis Ridge to the Etendeka flood basalt province, forms one of the most prominent and complex global hotspot tracks. The TGW hotspot track displays a tight linear age progression in which ages increase from the islands to the flood basalts (covering ~135 My). Unlike Pacific tracks, which are simple chains of seamounts that are often compared to chains of pearls, the TGW track is alternately a steep-sided narrow ridge, an oceanic plateau, subparallel linear ridges and chains of seamounts, and areas of what appear to be randomly dispersed seamounts. The track displays isotopic zonation over the last ~70 My. The zonation appears near the middle of the track just before it splits into two to three chains of ridge- and guyot-type seamounts. The older ridge is also overprinted with age-progressive late-stage volcanism, which was emplaced ~30–40 My after the initial eruptions and has a distinct isotopic composition. The plan for Expedition 391 was to drill at six sites, three along Walvis Ridge and three in the seamount (guyot) province, to gather igneous rocks to better understand the formation of track edifices, the temporal and geochemical evolution of the hotspot, and the variation in paleolatitudes at which the volcanic edifices formed. After a delay of 18 days to address a shipboard outbreak of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) virus, Expedition 391 proceeded to drill at four of the proposed sites: three sites on the eastern Walvis Ridge around Valdivia Bank, an ocean plateau within the ridge, and one site on the lower flank of a guyot in the Center track, a ridge located between the Tristan subtrack (which extends from the end of Walvis Ridge to the island of Tristan da Cunha) and the Gough subtrack (which extends from Walvis Ridge to the island of Gough). One hole was drilled at Site U1575, located on a low portion of the northeastern Walvis Ridge north of Valdivia Bank. At this location, 209.9 m of sediments and 122.4 m of igneous basement were cored. The latter comprised 10 submarine lava units consisting of pillow, lobate, sheet, and massive lava flows, the thickest of which was ~21 m. Most lavas are tholeiitic, but some alkalic basalts were recovered. A portion of the igneous succession consists of low-Ti basalts, which are unusual because they appear in the Etendeka flood basalts but have not been previously found on Walvis Ridge. Two holes were drilled at Site U1576 on the west flank of Valdivia Bank. The first hole was terminated because a bit jammed shortly after penetrating igneous basement. Hole U1576A recovered a remarkable ~380 m thick sedimentary section consisting mostly of chalk covering a nearly complete sequence from Paleocene to Late Cretaceous (Campanian). These sediments display short and long cyclic color changes that imply astronomically forced and longer term paleoenvironmental changes. The igneous basement yielded 11 submarine lava units ranging from pillows to massive flows, which have compositions varying from tholeiitic basalt to basaltic andesite, the first occurrence of this composition recovered from the TGW track. These units are separated by seven sedimentary chalk units that range in thickness from 0.1 to 11.6 m, implying a long-term interplay of sedimentation and lava eruptions. Coring at Site U1577, on the extreme eastern flank of Valdivia Bank, penetrated a 154 m thick sedimentary section, the bottom ~108 m of which is Maastrichtian–Campanian (possibly Santonian) chalk with vitric tephra layers. Igneous basement coring progressed only 39.1 m below the sediment-basalt contact, recovering three massive submarine tholeiite basalt lava flows that are 4.1, 15.5, and >19.1 m thick, respectively. Paleomagnetic data from Sites U1577 and U1576 indicate that their volcanic basements formed just before the end of the Cretaceous Normal Superchron and during Chron 33r, shortly afterward, respectively. Biostratigraphic and paleomagnetic data suggest an east–west age progression across Valdivia Bank, becoming younger westward. Site U1578, located on a Center track guyot, provided a long and varied igneous section. After coring through 184.3 m of pelagic carbonate sediments mainly consisting of Eocene and Paleocene chalk, Hole U1578A cored 302.1 m of igneous basement. Basement lavas are largely pillows but are interspersed with sheet and massive flows. Lava compositions are mostly alkalic basalts with some hawaiite. Several intervals contain abundant olivine, and some of the pillow stacks consist of basalt with remarkably high Ti content. The igneous sequence is interrupted by 10 sedimentary interbeds consisting of chalk and volcaniclastics and ranging in thickness from 0.46 to 10.19 m. Paleomagnetic data display a change in basement magnetic polarity ~100 m above the base of the hole. Combining magnetic stratigraphy with biostratigraphic data, the igneous section is inferred to span >1 My. Abundant glass from pillow lava margins was recovered at Sites U1575, U1576, and U1578. Although the igneous penetration was only two-thirds of the planned amount, drilling during Expedition 391 obtained samples that clearly will lead to a deeper understanding of the evolution of the Tristan-Gough hotspot and its track. Relatively fresh basalts with good recovery will provide ample samples for geochemical, geochronologic, and paleomagnetic studies. Good recovery of Late Cretaceous and early Cenozoic chalk successions provides samples for paleoenvironmental study. 
    more » « less
  5. null (Ed.)
    Walvis Ridge (WR) is a long-lived hotspot track that began with a continental flood basalt event at ~132 Ma during the initial opening of the South Atlantic Ocean. WR stretches ~3300 km to the active volcanic islands of Tristan da Cunha and Gough, and it was originally paired with Rio Grande Rise (RGR) oceanic plateau. Because of the duration of its volcanism and the length of its track, the Tristan-Gough hotspot forms the most pronounced bathymetric anomaly of all Atlantic hotspots. Its age progression, chemistry, and connection to flood basalts point to a lower mantle plume source, projected to be the hypothesized plume generation zone at the margin of the African large low shear-wave velocity province. The hotspot interacted with the Mid-Atlantic Ridge (MAR) during its early history, producing WR and RGR through plume-ridge interaction. Valdivia Bank, a WR plateau paired with the main part of RGR, represents heightened hotspot output and may have formed with RGR around a microplate, disrupting the expected hotspot age progression. After producing a relatively uniform composition from ~120 to ~70 Ma, WR split into three seamount chains with distinct isotopic compositions at about the time that the plume and MAR separated. With ~70 My spatial zonation, the hotspot displays the longest-lived geochemical zonation known. Currently at ~400 km width with young volcanic islands at both ends, the hotspot track is far wider than other major hotspot tracks. Thus, WR displays global extremes with respect to (1) width of its hotspot track, (2) longevity of zonation, (3) division into separate chains, and (4) plume-ridge interaction involving a microplate, raising questions about the geodynamic evolution of this hotspot track. Understanding WR is critical for knowledge of the global spectrum of plume systems. To test hypotheses about mantle plume zonation, plume activity around a microplate, and hotspot drift, we propose coring at six locations along the older ridge to recover successions of basaltic lava flows ranging in age from ~59 to 104 Ma. Samples will help us trace the evolution of geochemical and isotopic signatures as the hotspot track became zoned, offering vital clues about compositional changes of the plume source and important implications for understanding the origin of hotspot zonation. Dating will show the age progression of volcanism both at individual sites and along the ridge, testing whether WR formed as a strictly age-progressive hotspot track and whether Valdivia Bank formed as a plume pulse, extended volcanism around a microplate, or possibly even a continental fragment. Paleomagnetic data will track paleolatitude changes of the hotspot, testing whether hotspot drift or true polar wander, or both, explain changes in paleolatitude. 
    more » « less