PETROGRAPHY AND PROVENANCE OF VOLCANICLASTIC SANDS AND SANDSTONES RECOVERED FROM THE WOODLARK RIFT BASIN AND TROBRIAND FOREARC BASIN, LEG 180
Sharp, Timothy R
Robertson, Alastair H F
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Modal analysis of middle Miocene to Pleistocene volcaniclastic sands and sandstones recovered from Sites 1108, 1109, 1118, 1112, 1115, 1116, and 1114 within the Woodlark Basin during Leg 180 of the Ocean Drilling Program indicates a complex source history for sand-sized detritus deposited within the basin. Volcaniclastic detritus (i.e., feldspar, ferromagnesian minerals, and volcanic rock fragments) varies substantially throughout the Woodlark Basin. Miocene sandstones of the inferred Trobriand forearc succession contain mafic and subordinate silicic volcanic grains, probably derived from the contemporary Trobriand arc. During the late Miocene, the Trobriand outerarc/forearc (including Paleogene ophiolitic rocks) was subaerially exposed and eroded, yielding sandstones of dominantly mafic composition. Rift-related extension during the late Miocene-late Pliocene led to a transition from terrestrial to neritic and finally bathyal deposition. The sandstones deposited during this period are composed dominantly of silicic volcanic detritus, probably derived from the Amphlett Islands and surrounding areas where volcanic rocks of Pliocene-Pleistocene age occur. During this time terrigenous and metamorphic detritus derived from the Papua New Guinea mainland reached the single turbiditic Woodlark rift basin (or several subbasins) as fine-grained sediments. At Sites 1108, 1109, 1118, 1116, and 1114, serpentinite and metamorphic grains (schist and gneiss) appear as detritus in sandstones younger than ~3 Ma. This is thought to reflect a major pulse of rifting that resulted in the deepening of the Woodlark rift basin and the prevention of terrigenous and metamorphic detritus from reaching the northern rift margin (Site 1115). The Paleogene Papuan ophiolite belt and the Owen Stanley metamorphics were unroofed as the southern margin of the rift was exhumed (e.g., Moresby Seamount) and, in places, subaerially exposed (e.g., D'Entrecasteaux Islands and onshore Cape Vogel Basin), resulting in new and more proximal sources of metamorphic, igneous, and ophiolitic detritus. Continued emergence of the Moresby Seamount during the late Pliocene-early Pleistocene bounded by a major inclined fault scarp yielded talus deposits of similar composition to the above sandstones. Upper Pliocene-Pleistocene sandstones were deposited at bathyal depths by turbidity currents and as subordinate air-fall ash. Silicic glassy (high-K calc-alkaline) volcanic fragments, probably derived from volcanic centers located in Dawson and Moresby Straits, dominated these sandstones.