Site 1222 (13°48.98´N, 143°53.35´W; 4989 meters below sea level [mbsl]; Fig. F1) forms a south-central component of the 56-Ma transect drilled during Leg 199 and is situated ~2° south of the Clarion Fracture Zone in typical abyssal hill topography. On the basis of regional magnetic anomalies, we anticipated basement age at Site 1222 to be equivalent to Chron C25r or Chron C25n (~56-57 Ma) (Cande et al., 1989), which is slightly older than at Site 1219. At the outset of drilling at Site 1222, our estimate for total sediment thickness was ~115 m (Fig. F2). <br/><br/> Based upon a fixed hotspot model (Gripp and Gordon, 1990, for 0- to 5-Ma Pacific hotspot rotation pole; Engebretson et al., 1985, for older poles) Site 1222 should have been located ~1° north of the equator at 56 Ma and ~4°N at 40 Ma. A nearby gravity core (EW9709-17GC), taken during the site survey cruise, recovered >5 m of red clay with a late-middle Miocene age on the basis of radiolarian biostratigraphy (Lyle, 2000). Deep Sea Drilling Project (DSDP) Site 42 located ~4° east of Site 1222, was not drilled to basement but contains a thin sedimentary section (~100 m thick) of upper Oligocene nannofossil ooze through middle Eocene radiolarian nannofossil ooze. In turn, DSDP Site 162 lies ~1° north of DSDP Site 42 and is situated on young crust (49 Ma) that contains ~150 m of clayey radiolarian and nannofossil oozes of early Oligocene-middle Eocene age. <br/><br/> Site 1222 will be used to study the position of the Intertropical Convergence Zone in the late Eocene and Oligocene, to sample late Paleocene and early Eocene sediments in the central tropical Pacific Ocean, and to help determine whether or not there has been significant southward movement of the hotspots with respect to the spin axis prior to 40 Ma
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