Silicic tephras in Pleistocene shallow-marine sediments of Wanganui Basin, New Zealand

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Pillans, BJ, Alloway, B, Naish, TR, Westgate, J, Abbott, ST & Palmer, A 2005, 'Silicic tephras in Pleistocene shallow-marine sediments of Wanganui Basin, New Zealand', Journal of the Royal Society of New Zealand, vol. 35, no. 1-2, pp. 43-90.

The publisher's version of this article is available at http://dx.doi.org/ 10.1080/03014223.2005.9517777


Vitric-rich volcaniclastic horizons are important for correlation of glacio-eustatic sedimentary cycles, both within the well known shallow-marine record of Wanganui Basin, and other New Zealand terrestrial and deep marine records. They also record distal major rhyolitic eruptions from the Taupo (TVZ) and Coromandel (CVZ) Volcanic Zones that are lacking in proximal source areas. Twenty-eight volcaniclastic horizons are recognised in the Castlecliffian and late Nukumaruan strata of Wanganui Basin from glass shard major element geochemistry and stratigraphic position, and are dated using magnetostratigraphy, orbitally tuned cyclostratigraphy and isothermal plateau fission track (ITPFT) ages. The major named volcaniclastic horizons (with ITPFT and/or astronomical ages, respectively) are: Onepuhi (0.57 Ma), Kupe (0.63 ± 0.08 Ma; 0.65 Ma), Kaukatea (0.86 ± 0.08 Ma; 0.90 Ma), Potaka (1.00 ± 0.03 Ma; 0.99 Ma), Rewa (1.20 ± 0.14 Ma; 1.19 Ma), Mangapipi (1.51 ± 0.16 Ma, 1.54 Ma), Ridge (1.56 Ma), Pakihikura (1.58 ± 0.08 Ma; 1.58 Ma), Birdgrove (1.60 Ma), Mangahou (1.63 Ma), Maranoa (1.63 Ma), Ototoka (1.72 ± 0.32 Ma; 1.64 Ma), Table Flat (1.71 ± 0.12 Ma; 1.65 Ma), Vinegar Hill (1.75 ± 0.20 Ma; 1.75 Ma), and Waipuru (1.79 ± 0.15 Ma; 1.83 Ma). The ITPFT ages are consistent with the astronomically tuned Geomagnetic Polarity Timescale. Volcaniclastic horizons in Wanganui Basin have been emplaced through a variety of primary and secondary processes, including direct tephra-fall as well as transitional water supported mass flow through to hyperconcentrated flow. No gas supported flow deposits have yet been recognised. Only some horizons from Wanganui Basin can be chemically and chronologically linked to known TVZ eruptions, while others remain uncorrelated owing to proximal source area erosion and/or burial as well as vapour phase alteration and devitrification within near-source welded ignimbrites. Nevertheless, many volcaniclastic deposits in Wanganui Basin can be reliably correlated to distal sedimentary successions in Auckland Region, Hawke’s Bay and in Ocean Drilling Program (ODP) cores 1123 and 1124, to the east of New Zealand. The orbitally tuned chronology for ODP cores, which is calibrated by numeric ages on tephras and magnetostratigraphy, enhances inter-regional correlation, providing an important framework for future palaeoenvironmental reconstructions.

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