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Title: Pinpointing the Provenance of Deccan Zircons
Authors: O'Connor, Liam
Advisors: Schoene, Blair
Department: Geosciences
Class Year: 2020
Abstract: Recent uranium-lead dating of India’s Deccan Traps shows that its rapid eruptions of >10 km3/year temporally coincided with the end-Cretaceous mass extinction. Zircons used for their dating were found in weathered horizons between basalt flows rather than in the basalts themselves. Afelsicsourcelikelyproducedthesezirconsanddepositedthemthroughvolcanicairfall. PreliminaryradiometricdatingofsixfelsicvolcaniccomplexesontheSaurashtraPeninsulaand the Phenaimata complex, both in Gujarat, India, show that they were synchronous with Deccan eruptions. I measured trace element concentrations and hafnium isotopes in 416 zircons from both regions to test the hypothesis that Gujarat volcanism produced the Deccan zircons. The Deccan samples were split into two groups by their eHf. Zircons collected from the Deccan MahabaleshwarandupperAmbenaliformationscrystallizedinmagmasthatwerecontaminated by crustal material, while stronger mantle inputs characterized the magmas of the lower formations’ zircons. Trace element ratios, hafnium isotopes, and Kolmogorov-Smirnov tests indicate that their provenance was not in any of these Gujarat volcanic complexes that have been dated thusfar. TheseresultsimplythatotherfelsicsourcesexistinIndia,easternAfrica,orthewestern IndianOceanthathavenotyetbeenidentified.
Type of Material: Princeton University Senior Theses
Language: en
Appears in Collections:Geosciences, 1929-2022

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