OJG  Vol.3 No.2 , April 2013
Timing of Onset of Volcanic Centers in the Campanian of Western North America as Determined by Distal Ashfalls
Author(s) Janet L. Bertog*
ABSTRACT

Strata of the Late Cretaceous Niobrara Formation and Pierre Shale Group include bentonites that provide a distal record of volcanic activity taking place to the west. Detailed stratigraphic analysis combined with mineralogy and geochemistry of the bentonites indicates the following timing of events: 1) Eustatic sea level fall as a result of the end of the Niobrara Cycle; 2) Tectonic deformation of the Western Interior Seaway coincident with tectonism on the Absoroka Thrust in Wyoming and Late Canyon Range Thrust in Utah; 3) Backarc volcanism in Montana associated with the Little Elkhorn Mountain volcanic complex; 4) Forearc volcanism in the Cascades area indicates subduction of a hot oceanic crust where plagioclase in the oceanic crust is being incorporated into the melt; 5) Cessation of tectonic activity results in a return of sedimentation patterns to north-south trending belts with the Boyer Bay and Burning Brule members of the Sharon Springs Formation deposited to the east and the Mitten Black Shale Formation deposited in the basin.


Cite this paper
J. Bertog, "Timing of Onset of Volcanic Centers in the Campanian of Western North America as Determined by Distal Ashfalls," Open Journal of Geology, Vol. 3 No. 2, 2013, pp. 121-133. doi: 10.4236/ojg.2013.32016.
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