The northwestern Cascadia Basin of western North America accumulated high-sedimentation-rate sequences during the Pleistocene sea-level low-stands. The continental shelf was largely exposed at that time, and rivers and estuaries delivered large sediment fluxes directly to the deep ocean. The IODP EXP1301 core, which was taken from the middle portion of the Cascadia Basin, is well preserved and exhibits the deeper and - more distal sedimentary facies. The lithology in this location is composed of two units, 1) hemipelagic mud with a thin sand layer and 2) thick, coarsening upward silt-sand turbidites with a small proportion of granules at the top. We will focus on the detailed sand-grain proportions in order to understand the origin of these sediments. We determined the modal proportions of the heavy minerals, and the chemical composition of olivine and orthopyroxene in fourteen samples. These are characterized by an abundance of amphibole, pyroxenes and epidote, and the presence of minerals derived from peridotite. There is no drastic change in the modal and mineral compositions of the sands and silts between the turbidite and hemipelagic sequences. There were two probable drainage systems on the continent, the Frazer and Columbia rivers, which shed turbidites into the Cascadia Basin after 1.6 Ma, especially at 0.46-0.76 Ma. Based on a comparison of the modal and mineral compositions, the Northern Cascadia Basin has been supplied with sediments, mainly from the Frazer River, through the Straits of Juan de Fuca, by Pleistocene to Holocene turbidites.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Geochemistry and Petrology