Drowned 14-m.y.-old Galápagos archipelago off the coast of Costa Rica: Implications for tectonic and evolutionary models.

Werner, Reinhard, Hoernle, Kaj , van den Bogaard, Paul, Ranero, Cesar, von Huene, Roland and Korich, Dietmar (1999) Drowned 14-m.y.-old Galápagos archipelago off the coast of Costa Rica: Implications for tectonic and evolutionary models. Geology, 27 (6). pp. 499-502. DOI 10.1130/0091-7613(1999)027<0499:DMYOGP>2.3.CO;2.

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Volcanic rocks were dredged from the Cocos and Fisher ridges and seamounts along a
250 km profile parallel to the Pacific coast of Costa Rica. The composition and laser 40Ar/39Ar
ages of the Cocos Ridge and Seamounts are consistent with their formation above the Galápagos
hotspot 13.0–14.5 Ma. The reconstructed paleoenvironment and chemistry of the Fisher
Ridge are consistent with it having originated at a mid-oceanic ridge system. Laser 40Ar/39Ar
dating of fresh basalt glass from the Fisher Ridge yielded isochron ages of 19.2 ± 0.3 Ma and
30.0 ± 0.5 Ma. The Fisher Ridge is along a lithospheric fault that may represent an extensional
fracture formed when the oceanic floor rode over the Galápagos hotspot. Even though the
younger structures are currently at water depths of >1000 m, volcanological, geochemical, and
geophysical observations indicate that they once formed an emerged archipelago very similar
in morphology to the Galápagos islands. The diversity of the biota on the isolated Galápagos
islands, as first described by Charles Darwin, has had an important influence on the development
of the theory of evolution. The existence of a now-drowned Galápagos archipelago
14.5 Ma considerably increases speciation times for the Galápagos biota and provides a
complete solution to a long-standing controversy concerning the divergence of the Galápagos
marine and land iguanas from a single ancestral species.

Document Type: Article
Additional Information: GSA Data Repository item 9943, Analytical methods and detailed data table of laser 40Ar/39Ar analyses, is available on request from Documents Secretary, GSA, P.O. Box 0140, Boulder, CO 80301, editing@geosociety.org, or at www.geosociety.org/ pubs/drpint.htm.
Research affiliation: OceanRep > GEOMAR > FB4 Dynamics of the Ocean Floor > FB4-MUHS
Refereed: Yes
Open Access Journal?: No
DOI etc.: 10.1130/0091-7613(1999)027<0499:DMYOGP>2.3.CO;2
ISSN: 0091-7613
Date Deposited: 25 Oct 2013 13:13
Last Modified: 24 Oct 2019 12:28
URI: http://oceanrep.geomar.de/id/eprint/22282

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