PHILLIPS WRITER, Erin H.1, GOFF, Fraser2, KYLE, Philip3, DUNBAR, Nelia4, MCINTOSH, William4, and GARDNER, Jamie N.5, (1) Black Hills State University, 1200 University Street, Spearfish, SD 57799, ehp@nmt.edu, (2) Earth and Planetary Sciences Dept, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM 87131, (3) New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology, 801 Leroy Place, Socorro, NM 87801, (4) New Mexico Bureau of Geology and Mineral Resources, New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology, 801 Leroy Place, Socorro, NM 87801, (5) Gardner Geoscience, 14170 Hwy 4, Jemez Springs, NM 87025


The Valles caldera with its resurgent dome, Redondo Peak, is the type locality for resurgent calderas. The young age (ca. 1.25 Ma) and excellent exposures make Valles caldera an exquisite site to study caldera formation and resurgence. Resurgence occurred after catastrophic eruption of the Tshirege Member of the Bandelier Tuff (BTT) and collapse of Valles caldera. The BTT therefore serves as a lower age constraint on the duration of resurgence, which resulted in at least 1000 m of uplift above the surrounding caldera floor. Resurgence was complete before emplacement of Cerro del Medio (CdM), the oldest post-collapse ring fracture rhyolite (ca 1.23 Ma). The oldest lobes of CdM show no deformation from resurgence and provide an upper time constraint on resurgence. The duration of resurgence was determined by precise 40Ar/39Ar dating of these two time constraints. Sanidine yield a mean single crystal laser fusion age of 1.256 ± 0.010 Ma for the BTT and 1.229 ± 0.017 Ma for an older flow of CdM (2σ; ages relative to Fish Canyon tuff sanidine at 28.02 Ma). These ages imply that resurgence occurred within 27 ± 27 ka of caldera collapse. Resurgence therefore was complete within 54 ka and the uplift rate was at least 1.9 cm/yr.

Consideration of mineral xenocrysts is important when comparing such similarly aged rocks. Heterogeneous feldspars that are likely candidates for xenocrystic contamination were identified in CdM rhyolites. However, homogeneous sanidine crystals with no visible evidence of alteration have chemical compositions of Or45Ab53 to Or48Ab50, significantly different from BTT feldspar, which typically range from Or34Ab63 to Or44Ab55. Additionally, 40Ar/39Ar age data show only one population of sanidine in this CdM sample.

Further insight into the post-collapse history of Valles caldera is gleaned from ages of the intracaldera Deer Canyon and Redondo Creek rhyolites. These units yield 40Ar/39Ar ages ranging from 1.229 ± 0.013 Ma to 1.283 ± 0.017 Ma (n=8) for the Deer Canyon Member and 1.208 ± 0.017 Ma to 1.239 ± 0.017 Ma (n=4) for the Redondo Creek Member. Excepting one sample from each unit, these ages are statistically indistinguishable from the age of the BTT suggesting that they erupted shortly after collapse and continued to erupt during resurgence.

2010 GSA Denver Annual Meeting (31 October –3 November 2010)
General Information for this Meeting
Session No. 13
Volcanic and Landscape Evolution of the Jemez Mountains Volcanic Field
Colorado Convention Center: Room 110/112
8:00 AM-12:00 PM, Sunday, 31 October 2010

Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs, Vol. 42, No. 5, p. 52