Sequence stratigraphy, structure, and tectonic history of the southwestern Ontong Java Plateau adjacent to the North Solomon Trench and Solomon Island Arc

Phinney, E.; Mann, P.; Coffin, M.F.; Shipley, T.H.. 1999 Sequence stratigraphy, structure, and tectonic history of the southwestern Ontong Java Plateau adjacent to the North Solomon Trench and Solomon Island Arc. Journal of Geophysical Research, 104 (B9). 20449-20466.

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The Ontong Java Plateau (OJP) is the largest and thickest oceanic plateau on Earth and one of the few oceanic plateaus actively converging on an island arc. We present velocity determinations and geologic interpretation of 2000 km of two-dimensional, multi-channel seismic data from the southwestern Ontong Java Plateau, North Solomon Trench, and northern Solomon Islands. We recognize three megasequences, ranging in age from early Cretaceous to Quaternary, on the basis of distinct interval velocities and seismic stratigraphic facies. Megasequence OJ1 is early Cretaceous, upper igneous crust of the OJP and correlates with basalt outcrops dated at 122–125 Ma on the island of Malaita. The top of the overlying megasequence OJ2, a late Cretaceous mudstone unit, had been identified by previous workers as the top of igneous basement. Seismic facies and correlation to distant Deep Sea Drilling Project/Ocean Drilling Program sites indicate that OJ2 was deposited in a moderately low-energy, marine environment near a fluctuating carbonate compensation depth that resulted in multiple periods of dissolution. OJ2 thins south of the Stewart Arch onto the Solomon Islands where it is correlated with the Kwaraae Mudstone Formation. Megasequence OJ3 is late Cretaceous through Quaternary pelagic cover which caps the Ontong Java Plateau; it thickens into the North Solomon Trench, and seismic facies suggest that OJ3 was deposited in a low-energy marine environment. We use seismic facies analysis, sediment thickness, structural observations, and quantitative plate reconstructions of the position of the OJP and Solomon Islands to propose a tectonic, magmatic, and sedimentary history of the southwestern Ontong Java Plateau. Prior to 125 Ma late Jurassic and early Cretaceous oceanic crust formed. From 125 to 122 Ma, the first mantle plume formed igneous crust (OJ1). Between 122 and 92 Ma, marine mudstone (OJ2 and Kwaraae mudstone of Malaita, Solomon Islands) was deposited on Ontong Java Plateau. At 92 Ma a second mantle plume caused widespread volcanism on the plateau. From 92 to 15 Ma, pelagic carbonate sediment (OJ3) was deposited. At ∼15 Ma the southern Ontong Java Plateau was deformed by normal faults during its approach toward the North Solomon Trench. Finally, from 4 to 0 Ma, the Malaita Accretionary Prism formed during collision between a substantially thicker portion of the Ontong Java Plateau and the Solomon Islands arc. Flexure of the Ontong Java Plateau near the trench caused coeval normal faulting.

Item Type: Publication - Article
ISSN: 0148-0227
Date made live: 26 Jun 2008 +0 (UTC)

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