An 40 Ar- 39 Ar study of the Cape Verde hot spot: temporal evolution in a semistationary plate environment

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  • Holm, Paul Martin
  • Tanja Grandvuinet
  • James Richard Wilson
  • Jacob Friis
  • Susanne Plesner
  • Abigail K. Barker
The 40Ar-39Ar analyses of 28 groundmass separates from volcanic rocks from the islands of Santiago, Sal, and São Vicente, Cape Verde archipelago, are presented. The new age data record the volcanic evolution for Santiago from 4.6 to 0.7 Ma, for Sal from around 15 to 1.1 Ma, and for São Vicente from 6.6 to 0.3 Ma. The major submarine constructional phase of Santiago was erupted within a few hundred thousand years interval around 4.6 Ma. Most of the subaerial Santiago volcanic rocks were erupted in a second episode from 3.3 to 2.2 Ma and late volcanism occurred at 1.1-0.7 Ma. Volcanism on Sal evolved in five stages: (1) poorly constrained early Miocene activity, (2) 16-14 Ma, (3) 12-8 Ma, (4) around 5.4 Ma, and (5) 1.1-0.6 Ma. São Vicente was constructed during three active periods: (1) >6.6-5.9 Ma, (2) 4.7-4.5 Ma, and (3) ~0.3 Ma. Sr isotope analyses of carbonates from Maio confirm an Early Cretaceous age for limestones deposited on the seafloor and later uplifted. The Cape Verde Rise is indicated to have fully formed in the early Miocene around 22 Ma, accompanied by the initial alkaline volcanism. Considerable volcanism on Sal, Boa Vista, and Maio took place in the Miocene and Pliocene and extended over much larger areas than the present islands, whereas volcanism of the southwestern and northwestern island groups developed mainly during the Pliocene and Pleistocene and was mostly confined to the present island areas. The periods of volcanic activity may be broadly correlated between the northwestern and southwestern groups of islands. Young volcanism (0.3-0.1 Ma) throughout the northwestern group extends along a 150 km long NW-SE trending lineament. A relatively moderate average melting rate for the hot spot over the 22 Ma period is estimated at ~0.026 km3/a, corresponding to a total volume of 570 × 103 km3 of magma emplaced in the crust and a mantle volume flux of 28 m3/s, much lower than Iceland or Hawaii. The archipelago is situated to the south and SW of the center of the mantle plume anomaly and ahead of its relative movement. The timing and location of volcanism suggest that mantle melting takes place in three channels, an eastern one that has been active for 22 Ma and in southwestern and northwestern channels since late Miocene.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth
Number of pages22
Publication statusPublished - 2008

ID: 9176620