Bulletin of Volcanology

, Volume 71, Issue 6, pp 705–710 | Cite as

Accumulation rates of volcaniclastic deposits on Loihi Seamount, Hawaii

Short Scientific Communication


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.


Loihi Seamount Hawaiian volcanism Volcaniclastic deposits AMS radiocarbon ages 



I thank the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratories for producing the AMS radiocarbon age data that form the basis of this paper. Jenny Paduan constructed Fig. 1. The samples were collected during a Hawaii Undersea Research Laboratory Pisces V dive program in 1998 with Rodey Batiza and Jim Head. Terry Kerby’s expert sampling of the stratigraphic section at site G allowed me to attempt this dating project. Helpful reviews by Dick Fiske, Vern Manville, and Associate Editor Jocelyn McPhie improved the presentation significantly.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Monterey Bay Aquarium Research InstituteMoss LandingUSA

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