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A low-relief shield volcano origin for the South Kauaʻi Swell

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Title:A low-relief shield volcano origin for the South Kauaʻi Swell
Authors:Ito, Garrett
Garcia, Michael O.
Smith, John R.
Taylor, Brian
Flinders, Ashton
show 5 moreJicha, Brian
Yamasaki, Seiko
Weis, Dominique
Swinnard, Lisa
Blay, Chuck
show less
Keywords:South Kauai Swell
submarine landslides
hotspot volcanism
shield volcanism
secondary volcanism
Date Issued:July 2013
Publisher:American Geophysical Union
Citation:Ito, G., M. Garcia, J. Smith, B. Taylor, A. Flinders, B. Jicha, S. Yamasaki, D. Weis, L. Swinnard, and C. Blay (2013), A low-relief shield volcano origin for the South Kaua‘i Swell, Geochem. Geophys. Geosyst., 14, 2328–2348, doi:10.1002/ggge.20159.
Abstract:The South Kauaʻi Swell (SKS) is a 110 km x 80 km ovoid bathymetric feature that stands >2 km high and abuts the southern flank of the island of Kauaʻi. The origin of the SKS was investigated using multibeam bathymetry and acoustic backscatter, gravity data, radiometric ages, and geochemistry of rock samples. Most of the SKS rock samples are tholeiitic in composition with ages of 3.9–5.4 Ma indicating they were derived from shield volcanism. The ages and compositions of the SKS rocks partially overlap with those of the nearby Niʻihau, Kauaʻi and West Kaʻena volcano complexes. The SKS was originally described as a landslide; however, this interpretation is problematic given the ovoid shape of SKS, its relatively smooth, flat-to-convex surface, and the lack of an obvious source region that could accommodate what would be one of Earth’s most voluminous (6 x 10^3 km^3) landslides. The morphology, size, and the surrounding gravity anomaly are more consistent with the SKS being a low-relief shield volcano, which was partially covered with a small volume of landside debris from south Kauaʻi and later with some secondary volcanic seamounts. A shield origin would imply that Hawaiian and possibly other hotspot shield volcanoes can take on a wider variety of forms than is commonly thought, ranging from tall island-building shields, to smaller edifices such as Kaʻena Ridge and Mahukona, to even lower-relief volcanoes represented by the SKS and possibly the South West Oʻahu Volcanic Field.
Pages/Duration:21 pages
Rights:© 2013. American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.
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