|Title: Kerguelen Plateau, Southern Indian Ocean: Geologic History of A Large Igneous Province
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Calibrations, Average Word Count, and Answer Keys
In this assignment you will:
your knowledge and understanding of geological processes forming Large
Igneous Provinces (LIPs), and document the geologic history of one such
region, the Kerguelen Plateau (Southern Indian Ocean)
an essay summarizing the significance and geologic history of the
Kerguelen Plateau Large Igneous Province, as revealed by Ocean Drilling
Program (ODP) Legs 120 and 183. In particular, address the following
1. What is a Large Igneous Province and what geologic processes are involved in its development?
2. What is the geologic and oceanographic setting of the Kerguelen Plateau, and why is it considered to be a LIP?
How do results from Legs 120 and 183 (especially Site 1138) address
questions regarding the nature and origin of the Kerguelen Plateau?
4. How do results from Legs 120 and 183 (especially Site 1138) document
the Mesozoic and Cenozoic geologic history of the Kerguelen Plateau?
explores the significance and geologic history of the Kerguelen Plateau
Large Igneous Province, as revealed by Ocean Drilling Program (ODP)
Legs 120 and 183.
- Background information about the Ocean Drilling Program (ODP) can be found at:
Ocean Drilling Program home page
- A virtual tour of the drillship is
at Virtual Tour of ODP Drillship
- Overviews of the major results of Legs 120 and 183 are found in the ODP press releases from each leg at:
ODP Leg 120 Press Release,
ODP Leg 183 Press Release
- A global map of Large Igneous Provinces is found at:
Global Map of Large Igneous Provinces
A location map of ODP drill sites on the Kerguelen Plateau is found at:
ODP Site Location Map - Kerguelen Plateau
- Summary articles on results from ODP drilling on the Kerguelen Plateau are found at:
- The composite stratigraphic sections for Site 1138 is found at:
Site 1138 Composite Stratigraphic Section
- Much more detailed information on shipboard results and shorebased studies from Leg 183 is found at:
Leg 183 Inital Reports,
Leg 183 Scientific Results
- ODP Online Database (core photos, etc.):
ODP Online Database (JANUS)
- Cores illustrating the Kerguelen Plateau stratigraphic sequence:
Hole 1138A, Core 5R
Hole 1138A, Core 28R
Hole 1138A, Core 37R
Hole 1138A, Core 53R
Hole 1138A, Core 69R
Hole 1138A, Core 70R and 71R
Hole 1138A, Core 72R
Hole 1138A, Core 73R (upper part)
Hole 1138A, Core 73R (lower part)
Hole 1138A, Core 83R
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Write an essay of the required length (250-700 words) on the geological
processes that form Large Igneous Provinces (LIPs), and the geologic
history of one such region, the Kerguelen Plateau (Southern Indian
Ocean). Be sure to use correct writing style, including a topic
sentence that introduces the subject of the essay. Avoid spelling and
grammatical errors (use spelling/grammar checker in your word
processor)! Also be sure to insert paragraph breaks using the proper
The essay MUST be written
in YOUR OWN WORDS (not direct cut-and-paste from the source material).
A brief outline of clearly stated items to include are (REMEMBER that
these items will appear as a checklist for reviewing essays):
1. Topic sentence(s) to introduce essay.
2. Discussion of what constitutes a Large Igneous Province and the geologic processes involved in its development.
- What is the source of the magma in a LIP?
- How long does it take for a LIP to develop?
- Are LIPs restricted to either a continental or an oceanic setting?
- What are some examples of LIPs around the world?
- In what way are LIPs thought to be associated with mantle plumes?
- Why are LIPs geologically important?
3. Description of the geologic and oceanographic setting of the Kerguelen Plateau, and why is it considered to be a LIP.
- Where is the Kerguelen Plateau located?
- How large is the Kerguelen Plateau (compared to a familiar region)?
- Describe the bathymetry (water depths) on the Plateau.
- How was the Kerguelen hotspot involved in formation of the Plateau?
- How do the igneous processes that formed the Kerguelen Plateau compare with those observed at modern active hot spots?
4. Summary of results from drilling basement (igneous) rocks on Legs
120 and 183 (especially Site 1138), and how these results address
questions regarding the nature and origin of the Kerguelen Plateau.
- What kind of crust predominates at Kerguelen Plateau - continental or oceanic (what type of basement rock is present)?
- What evidence for the presence of continental crust has been found by drilling on the Plateau?
- From what specific continents would this crustal material have come?
- What was the character of the final phase of volcanism associated with the formation of the Plateau?
- What is the age and rock type found in the igneous basement at Site 1138?
- What was the eruptive setting for this rock (compared to sea level)?
5. Summary of the sedimentary depositional sequence found on Legs 120
and 183 (especially Site 1138) and how these results document the
Mesozoic and Cenozoic geologic history of the Kerguelen Plateau
sedimentological and/or paleontological evidence has been found
indicating that the Plateau was an emergent land mass early in its
sedimentological and/or paleontological evidence has been found
indicating that the Plateau subsequently sank to shallow marine depths?
- What sedimentological and/or paleontological evidence has been found indicating that the Plateau later sank to pelagic depths?
- What sedimentological and/or paleontological evidence has been found indicating mid-Cenozoic climatic change?
- What sedimentological and/or paleontological evidence has been found indicating late Cenozoic glaciation?
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