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Tephrochronology of the Miocene Monterey and Modelo Formations, California

July 17, 2022

Tuff beds have been known in the Miocene Monterey and Modelo Formations since the initial descriptions; however, age control and correlation is predominantly biostratigraphy. Here we combine tephrochronology and biostratigraphy in order to provide numerical age control for eight sedimentary sequences of the Monterey and Modelo Formations from Monterey, California to Orange County, California. We correlate 38 tuffs and tephra beds in the Monterey and Modelo Formations to 26 different dated tuffs found mainly in non-marine sequences in Nevada, Idaho and New Mexico. We also include geochemical data for an additional 19 tuffs in the Monterey and Modelo Formations for which there are no known correlative tuffs and geochemical data for 11 additional tuffs in other units that will add to the Miocene tephrostratigraphy. The identified tuffs range in age from 16 to 7 Ma with 31 tuffs erupted from volcanic centers of the Snake River Plain of northern Nevada to eastern Idaho. Twelve other tuffs erupted from the Southern Nevada Volcanic Field, one from the Sonoma Volcanic Field, north of San Francisco, and the eruptive source of 12 other tuffs is uncertain. These tuffs provide useful correlations of marine sequences deposited at varying depths along offshore Miocene California and possible insight into the distribution of air-fall tephra from so-called super eruptions

Publication Year 2022
Title Tephrochronology of the Miocene Monterey and Modelo Formations, California
DOI 10.1130/2022.2556(08)
Authors Jeffrey R. Knott, Andrei M. Sarna-Wojcicki, John A. Barron, Elmira Wan, Nancy Heizler, Priscilla Martinez
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title GSA Special Papers
Index ID 70236309
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Geology, Minerals, Energy, and Geophysics Science Center; Volcano Science Center