, Volume 71, Issue 6, pp 705-710

Accumulation rates of volcaniclastic deposits on Loihi Seamount, Hawaii

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Abstract

AMS radiocarbon age dating of planktonic foraminifera in volcaniclastic deposits on Loihi Seamount yields ages ranging from 590 years before present (y BP) at 10 cm depth to 5,880 y BP at 1,007 cm depth in an 11-m-thick section exposed along inward facing, caldera-bounding faults on the eastern side of Loihi’s summit. The accumulation rate of the deposit was about 0.37 cm/y from 5,880 to 3,300 y BP and it consisted of subequal amounts of alkalic and tholeiitic fragments. The rate slowed dramatically at about 3,300 y BP to an average 0.04 cm/y and the particles that have accumulated since consist mostly of alkalic glass fragments. The decrease in accumulation rate could indicate a decrease in volcanic activity at Loihi beginning about 3,300 y BP. This lower level of activity appears to be continuing today.

Editorial responsibility J. McPhie