Field Mapping Investigation and Geochemical Analysis of Volcanic Units within the Dinner Creek Tuff Eruptive Center, Malheur County, Eastern Oregon [thesis]

Matthew Cruz
The Dinner Creek Tuff is a mid-Miocene rhyolitic to dacitic ignimbrite, consisting of four cooling units with 40 Ar/ 39 Ar ages 16 -15 Ma. Previous geologists have suspected that the source of the tuff is located in northwestern Malheur County, eastern Oregon. This broad area is called the Dinner Creek Tuff Eruptive Center. This thesis summarizes field work, XRF/ICP-MS geochemistry, thin section petrography, and SEM feldspar analysis from the summers of 2015 and 2016. The main purpose of this
more » ... udy is to identify sources for the Dinner Creek Tuff units within the Dinner Creek Tuff Eruptive Center. The secondary purpose is to map lave flows that pre-date and post-date the Dinner Creek Tuff, and correlate them with regionally extensive volcanic units. Two volcanic centers related to the Dinner Creek Tuff were identified. The southern volcanic center, centered at Castle Rock, is a caldera and source of the Dinner Creek Tuff unit 1 (DIT1). Rheomorphic, densely welded DIT1 is over 300 m thick along the east side of Castle Rock. The northwestern margin of the caldera has been uplifted along faults, showing vertically foliated tuff dikes and associated mega-breccia deposits. Up to 200 m of incipiently welded tuffs, and fluvial volcaniclastic sediments were deposited on the caldera floor, which has been uplifted due to resurgence and regional extension, creating the complex structural relationships between the volcanic units. The northern volcanic center is located at Ironside Mountain, where densely welded rheomorphic Dinner Creek Tuff unit 2 (DIT2) is exposed in outcrops over 600 m thick.
doi:10.15760/etd.3468 fatcat:ej3dvohanrflfceonqitcj5ztm