Ages of the Pliocene-Pleistocene Alexandra and Ngatutura Volcanics, western North Island, New Zealand, and some geological implications
Briggs, R.M., Itaya, T., Lowe, D.J. & Keane, A.J. (1989). Ages of the Pliocene-Pleistocene Alexandra and Ngatutura Volcanics, western North Island, New Zealand, and some geological implications. New Zealand Journal of Geology and Geophysics, 32(4), 417-427.
Permanent Research Commons link: https://hdl.handle.net/10289/5260
The Alexandra and Ngatutura Volcanics are the two southernmost of the Pliocene-Quaternary volcanic fields of western and northern North Island, New Zealand, northwest of Taupo Volcanic Zone TVZ. The Ngatutura Basalts are an alkalic basaltic field comprising monogenetic volcanoes. The Alexandra Volcanics consist of three basaltic magma series: an alkalic (Okete Volcanics), calcalkalic (Karioi, Pirongia, Kakepuku, and Te Kawa Volcanics), and a minor potassic series. Twenty new K-Arages are presented for the Alexandra Volcanics and 9 new ages for the Ngatutura Basalts. Ages of the Alexandra Volcanics range from 2.74 to 1 .60 Ma, and the ages of all three magma series overlap. Ages of the Ngatutura Basalts range from 1 .83 to 1.54 Ma. Each basaltic field has a restricted time range and there is a progressive younging in age of the basaltic fields of western North Island from the Alexandra Volcanics in the south, to Ngatutura, to South Auckland, and then to the Auckland field in the north. Neither of the Alexandra nor Ngatutura Volcanics shows any younging direction of their volcanic centres or any age pattern within their fields, and there is no systematic variation in age with rock composition. Any correlation of age with degree of erosion of volcanic cones is invalid for these basaltic fields; instead, the degree of erosion may be controlled by the lithology of the cones and possibly by the extent of preservation offered by the thick cover deposits of the Kauroa, Hamilton, and younger tephra beds. Stratigraphic relations have enabled the earliest member of the Kauroa Ash Formation to be dated at 2.3 Ma. This formation represents a series of widespread rhyolitic plinian and ignimbrite eruptions probably derived from TVZ and initiated during the Late Pliocene.
This article has been published in the journal: New Zealand Journal of Geology and Geophysics. © Crown copyright 1989. Used with permission.