Age of the Rockland tephra, western USA

Quaternary Research
By: , and 



The age of the Rockland tephra, which includes an ash-flow tuff south and west of Lassen Peak in northern California and a widespread ash-fall deposit that produced a distinct stratigraphic marker in western North America, is constrained to 565,000 to 610,000 yr by 40Ar/39Ar and U–Pb dating. 40Ar/39Ar ages on plagioclase from pumice in the Rockland have a weighted mean age of 609,000 ± 7000 yr. Isotopic ages of spots on individual zircon crystals, analyzed by the SHRIMP-RG ion microprobe, range from ∼500,000 to ∼800,000 yr; a subpopulation representing crystal rims yielded a weighted-mean age of 573,000 ± 19,000 yr. Overall stratigraphic constraints on the age are provided by two volcanic units, including the underlying tephra of the Lava Creek Tuff erupted within Yellowstone National Park that has an age of 639,000 ± 2000 yr. The basaltic andesite of Hootman Ranch stratigraphically overlies the Rockland in the Lassen Peak area and has 40Ar/39Ar ages of 565,000 ± 29,000 and 565,000 ± 12,000 yr for plagioclase and groundmass, respectively. Identification of Rockland tephra in ODP core 1018 offshore of central California is an important stratigraphic age that also constrains the eruption age to between 580,000 and 600,000 yr.

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Age of the Rockland tephra, western USA
Series title Quaternary Research
DOI 10.1016/j.yqres.2004.03.001
Volume 62
Issue 1
Year Published 2004
Language English
Contributing office(s) Volcano Hazards Program
Description 11 p.
Larger Work Title Quaternary Research
First page 94
Last page 104
Google Analytic Metrics Metrics page
Additional publication details