Composition of bioclastic sands, carbonates and pyroclastic rocks of the Great Meteor and Josephine Seamounts, eastern North Atlantic, supplement to: von Rad, Ulrich (1974): Great Meteor and Josephine Seamounts (eastern North Atlantic): Composition and origin of bioclastic sands, carbonate and pyroclastic rocks. Meteor Forschungsergebnisse, Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, Reihe C Geologie und Geophysik, Gebrüder Bornträger, Berlin, Stuttgart, C19, 1-61

  1. Great Meteor Seamount (GMS) is a very large (24,000 km3) guyot with a flat summit plateau at 330-275 m; it has a volcanic core, capped by 150-600 m of post-Middle-Miocene carbonate and pyroclastic rocks, and is covered by bioclastic sands. The much smaller Josephine Seamount (JS, summit 170- 500 m w. d.) consists mainly of basalt which is only locally covered by limestones and bioclastic sands.2. The bioclastic sands are almost free of terrigenous components, and are well sorted, unimodal medium sands. (1) "Recent pelagic sands" are typical of water depths > 600 m (JS) or > 1000 m (GMS). (2) "Sands of mixed relict-recent origin" (10-40% relict) and (3) "relict sands" (> 40% relict) are highly reworked, coarse lag deposits from the upper flanks and summit tops in which recent constituents are mixed with Pleistocene or older relict material.3. From the carbonate rocks of both seamounts, 12 "microfacies" (MF-)types were distinguished. The 4 major types are: (1) Bio(pel)sparites (MF 1) occur on the summit plateaus and consist of magnesian calcite cementing small pellets and either redeposited planktonic bioclasts or mixed benthonic-planktonic skeletal debris ;(2) Porous biomicrites (MF 2) are typical of the marginal parts of the summit plateaus and contain mostly planktonic foraminifera (and pteropods), sometimes with redeposited bioclasts and/or coated grains;(3) Dense, ferruginous coralline-algal biomicrudites with Amphistegina sp. (MF 3.1), or with tuffaceous components (MF 3.2);(4) Dense, pelagic foraminiferal nannomicrite (MF 4) with scattered siderite rhombs.Corresponding to the proportion and mineralogical composition of the bioclasts and of the (Mgcalcitic) peloids, micrite, and cement, magnesian calcite (13-17 mol-% MgCO3) is much more abundant than low-Mg calcite and aragonite in rock types (1) and (2). Type (3) contains an "intermediate" Mg-calcite (7-9 mol-X), possibly due to an original Mg deficiency or to partial exsolution of Mg during diagenesis. The nannomicrite (4) consists of low-Mg calcite only.4. Three textural types of volcanic and associated gyroclastic rocks were distinguished: (1) holohyaline, rapidly chilled and granulated lava flows and tuffs (palagonite tuff breccia and hyaloclastic top breccia); (2) tachylitic basalts (less rapidly chilled; with opaque glass); and (3) "slowly" crystallized, holocrystalline alkali olivine basalts. The carbonate in most mixed pyroclastic-carbonate sediments at the basalt contact is of "post-eruptive" origin (micritic crusts etc.); "pre-eruptive" limestone is recrystallized or altered at the basalt contact. A deuteric (?hydrothermal) "mineralX", filling vesicles in basalt and cementing pyroclastic breccias is described for the first time.5. Origin and development of GMS andJS: From its origin, some 85 m. y. ago, the volcano of GMS remained active until about 10 m. y. B. P. with an average lava discharge of 320 km3/m. y. The volcanic origin of JS is much younger (?Middle Tertiary), but the volcanic activity ended also about 9 m. y. ago. During L a t e Miocene to Pliocene times both volcanoes were eroded (wave-rounded cobbles). The oldest pyroclastics and carbonates (MF 3.1, 3.2) were originally deposited in shallow-water (?algal reef hardground).The Plio (-Pleisto) cene foraminiferal nannomicrites (MF 4) suggest a meso- to bathypelagic environment along the flanks of GMS. During the Quaternary (?Pleistocene) bioclastic sands were deposited in water depths beyond wave base on the summit tops, repeatedly reworked, and lithified into loosely consolidated biopelsparites and biomicrites (MF 1 and 2; Fig. 15). Intermediate steps were a first intragranular filling by micrite, reworking, oncoidal coating, weak consolidation with Mg-calcite cemented "peloids" in intergranular voids and local compaction of the peloids into cryptocrystalline micrite with interlocking Mg-calcite crystals up to 4p. The submarine lithification process was frequently interrupted by long intervals of nondeposition, dissolution, boring, and later infilling. The limestones were probably never subaerially exposed.Presently, the carbonate rocks undergo biogenic incrustation and partial dissolution into bioclastic sands. The irregular distribution pattern of the sands reflects (a) the patchy distribution of living benthonic organisms, (b) the steady rain of planktonic organism onto the seamount top, (c) the composition of disintegrating subrecent limestones, and (d) the intensity of winnowing and reworking bottom current
Metadata Access
Creator von Rad, Ulrich
Publisher PANGAEA - Data Publisher for Earth & Environmental Science
Publication Year 1974
Rights Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported;
OpenAccess true
Language English
Resource Type Supplementary Collection of Datasets; Collection
Format application/zip
Size 3 datasets
Discipline Earth System Research
Spatial Coverage (-29.258W, 29.700S, -14.200E, 36.988N); North Atlantic Ocean; North Atlantic; Cape Blanc/Meteor Bank/Portugal
Temporal Coverage Begin 1967-06-26T16:06:00Z
Temporal Coverage End 1970-03-12T13:27:00Z