Ibex Hollow Tuff from ca. 12 Ma supereruption, southern Idaho, identified across North America, eastern Pacific Ocean, and Gulf of Mexico
The Ibex Hollow Tuff, 12.08 ± 0.03 Ma (40Ar/39Ar), is a widespread tephra layer erupted from the Bruneau-Jarbidge volcanic field of southern Idaho. Tephra from this eruption was deposited across much of western and central North America and adjacent ocean areas. We identified the Ibex Hollow Tuff at Trapper Creek, Idaho, near its eruption site, and at 15 distal sites, from the Pacific Ocean to the Gulf of Mexico, by the chemical composition of its glass shards, using electron-microprobe analysis, instrumental neutron activation analysis, and laser-ablation–inductively coupled plasma–mass spectrometry. By these methods, we distinguished the Ibex Hollow Tuff from overlying and underlying tephra layers near its source and at distal sites. Fluvially reworked Ibex Hollow Tuff ash was transported by the ancestral Mississippi River drainage from the interior of the North American continent to the Gulf of Mexico, where it is present within an ~50-m-thick deposit in marine sediments in the subsurface. The minimum fallout area covered by the ash is ~2.7 million km2, with a minimum volume of ~800 km3, and potential dispersal farther to the north and northeast. The areal distribution for the Ibex Hollow Tuff is similar to that of the Lava Creek B (0.63 Ma) supereruption. The Ibex Hollow Tuff represents a unique chronostratigraphic marker allowing a synoptic view of paleoenvironments at a virtual moment in time across a large terrestrial and marine region. The Ibex Hollow Tuff is also an important marker bed for North American Land Mammal Ages, and it coincides with climatic cooling in the middle to late Miocene documented in marine cores.
|Ibex Hollow Tuff from ca. 12 Ma supereruption, southern Idaho, identified across North America, eastern Pacific Ocean, and Gulf of Mexico
|Andrei M. Sarna-Wojcicki, Jeffrey R. Knott, John A. Westgate, James R. Budahn, John A. Barron, Colin J. Bray, Greg A. Ludvigson, Charles E. Meyer, David M. Miller, Rick E. Otto, Nicholas J.G. Pearce, Charles C. Smith, Laura Walkup, Elmira Wan, James Yount
|USGS Publications Warehouse
|Geology, Minerals, Energy, and Geophysics Science Center