Istituto di Scienze Marine     
Palmiotto C., Corda L., Ligi M., Cipriani A., Dick H., Douville E., Gasperini L., Montagna P., Thil F., Borsetti A. M., Balestra B., Bonatti E. Nonvolcanic tectonic islands in ancient and modern oceans. In: Geochemistry Geophysics Geosystems, vol. 14 (10) pp. 4698 - 4717. AMER GEOPHYSICAL UNION, 2000 FLORIDA AVE NW, WASHINGTON, DC 20009 USA, 2013.
Most oceanic islands are due to excess volcanism caused by thermal and/or compositional mantle melting anomalies. We call attention here to another class of oceanic islands, due not to volcanism but to vertical motions of blocks of oceanic lithosphere related to transform tectonics. Sunken tectonic islands capped by carbonate platforms have been previously identified along the Vema and Romanche transforms in the equatorial Atlantic. We reprocessed seismic reflection lines, did new facies analyses and Sr-87/Sr-86 dating of carbonate samples from the carbonate platforms. A 50 km long narrow paleoisland flanking the Vema transform, underwent subsidence, erosion, and truncation at sea level; it was then capped by a 500 m thick carbonate platform dated by Sr-87/Sr-86 at similar to 11-10 Ma. Three former islands on the crest of the Romanche transverse ridge are now at similar to 900 m bsl; they show horizontal truncated surfaces of oceanic crust capped by similar to 300 m thick carbonate platforms, with 10-6 Ma Sr isotopic ages. These sunken islands formed due to vertical tectonics related to transtension/transpression along long-offset slow-slip transforms. Another tectonic sunken island is Atlantis Bank, an uplifted gabbroic block along the Atlantis II transform (SW Indian Ridge) similar to 700 m bsl. A modern tectonic island is St. Peter and St. Paul Rocks, a rising slab of upper mantle located at the St. Paul transform (equatorial Atlantic). "Cold'' tectonic islands contrast with "hot'' volcanic islands related to mantle thermal and/or compositional anomalies along accretionary boundaries and within oceanic plates, or to supra-subduction mantle melting that gives rise to islands arcs.
DOI: 10.1002/ggge.20279
Subject tectonic islands; oceanic transform faults; carbonate platforms; facies analysis; strontium isotope stratigraphy; calcareous nannofossil biostratigraphy

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