Seamounts off the West Antarctic margin: A case for non-hotspot driven intraplate volcanism

Kipf, Andrea, Hauff, Folkmar, Werner, Reinhard, Gohl, K., van den Bogaard, Paul, Hoernle, Kaj A., Maicher, Doris and Klügel, A. (2014) Seamounts off the West Antarctic margin: A case for non-hotspot driven intraplate volcanism Gondwana Research, 25 . pp. 1660-1679. DOI 10.1016/

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Supplementary data:


• Marie Byrd Seamounts (MBS) formed off Antarctica at 65-56 Ma in an extensional regime
• MBS originate from HIMU-type mantle attached at the base of the Antarctic lithosphere
• Continental insulation flow transferred HIMU mantle into the oceanic mantle

New radiometric age and geochemical data of volcanic rocks from the guyot-type Marie Byrd Seamounts (MBS) and the De Gerlache Seamounts and Peter I Island (Amundsen Sea) are presented. 40Ar/39Ar ages of the shield phase of three MBS are Early Cenozoic (65 to 56 Ma) and indicate formation well after creation of the Pacific-Antarctic Ridge. A Pliocene age (3.0 Ma) documents a younger phase of volcanism at one MBS and a Pleistocene age (1.8 Ma) for the submarine base of Peter I Island. Together with published data, the new age data imply that Cenozoic intraplate magmatism occurred at distinct time intervals in spatially confined areas of the Amundsen Sea, excluding an origin through a fixed mantle plume. Peter I Island appears strongly influenced by an EMII type mantle component that may reflect shallow mantle recycling of a continental raft during the final breakup of Gondwana. By contrast the Sr-Nd-Pb-Hf isotopic compositions of the MBS display a strong affinity to a HIMU type mantle source. On a regional scale the isotopic signatures overlap with those from volcanics related to the West Antarctic Rift System, and Cretaceous intraplate volcanics in and off New Zealand. We propose reactivation of the HIMU material, initially accreted to the base of continental lithosphere during the pre-rifting stage of Marie Byrd Land/Zealandia to explain intraplate volcanism in the Amundsen Sea in the absence of a long-lived hotspot. We propose continental insulation flow as the most plausible mechanism to transfer the sub-continental accreted plume material into the shallow oceanic mantle. Crustal extension at the southern boundary of the Bellingshausen Plate from about 74 to 62 Ma may have triggered adiabatic rise of the HIMU material from the base of Marie Byrd Land to form the MBS. The De Gerlache Seamounts are most likely related to a preserved zone of lithospheric weakness underneath the De Gerlache Gravity Anomaly.

Document Type: Article
Additional Information: WOS:000347279400024
Keywords: Antarctica; Marie Byrd Seamounts; intraplate volcanism; 40Ar/39Ar age dates; major and trace element and Sr-Nd-Pb-Hf isotope geochemistry
Research affiliation: OceanRep > GEOMAR > FB4 Dynamics of the Ocean Floor > FB4-MUHS Magmatic and Hydrothermal Systems
Refereed: Yes
DOI etc.: 10.1016/
ISSN: 1342-937X
Date Deposited: 22 Jul 2013 12:45
Last Modified: 28 Sep 2017 09:47

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