Provenance of Marine Sediment in the Gulf of Alaska, IODP Expedition 341: Links Between Sediment Derivation, Glacial Systems, and Exhumation of the Coastal Mountain Belts
Abstract:Provenance analysis of Neogene sand and diamict beds from marine boreholes drilled by the IODP Expedition 341 provides a marine sedimentary record of the interactions between tectonics, climate and sediment deposition along a glaciated convergent margin. The 341 boreholes represent a cross-margin transect that sampled the continental shelf, slope, and deep sea Surveyor Fan of the Gulf of Alaska.
Our dataset currently consists of ~ 650 detrital zircons selected for double dating method utilizing both detrital zircon fission track (FT) and U-Pb analysis from sand and diamict beds, as well as zircon U-Pb geochronology and apatite FT from igneous and gneissic clasts. Detrital zircon U-Pb geochronology of sand records dominant peak ages of 53, 62, 70, and 98 Ma with minor populations of 117, 154, and 170 Ma. Most of these ages can be correlated to primary igneous sources in the Coast Plutonic Complex, the Chugach Metamorphic Complex, the plutonic rocks of Wrangellia, and the Sanak-Baranoff plutonic belt. All samples analyzed to date, covering a 10 Myr range, share nearly identical detrital zircon populations suggesting similar primary sediment sources and reworking of sediment in thrust belts and accretionary prisms along this convergent margin.
Plutonic and gneissic clasts collected from the boreholes on the shelf have already been double dated. These clasts have general U-Pb zircon crystallization ages of 52-54 Ma and apatite fission track cooling ages of 10-12 Ma. These results, along with previous published studies, indicate that these clasts were derived from the Chugach Metamorphic Complex and were eroded and transported by the Bagley Ice Field and Bering Glacier. Future results using this approach should allow us to pinpoint which parts of the exhumed onshore ranges and which glacial systems provided sediment to marine environments in the Gulf of Alaska.