The Gorda Escarpment's rise and fall : synthesis of exploration seismology, sampling efforts, micropaleontology, and radiometric dating Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/z890rx73b

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  • The Gorda Escarpment (40.4° N and from 126° W to 124.7° W) is a topographic high which is the eastern portion of the Mendocino Transform Fault. The Vizcaino Block is the anomalously shallow portion of the Pacific plate immediately south of the Gorda Escarpment. Sediments of the Vizcaino Block record a history of uplift and subsidence for itself and the Gorda Escarpment. Previous work on the Mendocino Ridge (the bathymetric expression of the Mendocino Transform Fault west of 126° W, where there is little sediment overlying basement) indicated that the ridge had been above sea level at some time in the past (Krause et al., 1964; Fisk et al., 1993). Assuming that the two bathymetric features have undergone the same response to tectonic forces, this study aims to constrain the timing of uplift and subsidence for the Gorda Escarpment, Vizcaino Block, and Mendocino Ridge by using the geological record of sediments of the Vizcaino Block. ODP Site 1022 drilling penetrated 379 meters into the Vizcaino Block's sediments. Age and lithologic constraints from the recovered cores, along with in-situ sampling by ROV and gravity cores, were integrated with a network of 25 seismic reflection lines. From these it is evident that uplift of the Gorda Escarpment and Mendocino Ridge began before 6 Ma, and was at a maximum at 2.7 Ma. Ocean circulation was likely altered by the uplift of the Gorda Escarpment and Mendocino Ridge. In turn, the altered ocean circulation regime may have had an impact on the regional climate in the Pliocene. From 2.7 Ma until the present the Gorda Escarpment, the Vizcaino Block and the Mendocino Ridge have been subsiding.
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