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Melanesian Border Plateau

18 January 2024
Catastrophism, Geology, Plate Tectonics

At https://www.livescience.com/planet-earth/superstructure-bigger-than-idaho-has-been-growing-on-the-seafloor-by-fiji-since-the-dinosaur-age … a hguge plateau, or superstructure as it is called at the link, has been growing near Fiji since the Cretaeous period. It is bigger than Idaho we are told. The Melanesian Border Plateau, located east of the Solomon Islands, formed via several big pulses of volcanism. Was there any connection with known catastrophic events?

Leaving that aside we may note the timeline is important, according to the study leader, but little is known about submarine volcanism. In some cases, such plateaus and the seamounts, appear to have grown as a result of a single flood of magma from the depths of the earth. They are often associaed with mass extinctions, we are told. However, were they part and parcel of catastrophic events that included volcanism as a side effect? In the case of the Cretaceous a link with the dinosaur killing asteroid strike may be apt, giving rise to the Deccan Traps in India, and apparently, the Melanesian Border Plateau as well. Both are on the other side of the world from Chicxulub. Yet, it is not unreasonable to think of a connection, even though that might be dismissed by uniformitarian adherence to the geochronological column.

The authors are at pains to point out that features such as the Fiji plateau may look like a huge igneous outpouring but they say it was built up as a result of several volcanic events. And this can be seen in a layer cake of the rocks. In fact, what they were encouraged to include in the article by peer review input is basically to keep strictly to the mainstream mantra when it comes to plate tectonics and academic geology. That is down to the peer reviewers, I suppose. The research itself, in 2013, a five week mission, was designed to find out if it was all down to a single ourpouring, or not. A useful research project. They dredged up rocks from the undersea mountains and volcanoes that were part of the plateau. They were then able to study the likely age and the chemistry. It all began around 120 million years ago – much older than the dinosaur killing asteroid, as a flood of basaltic lava. Then, 45 million years ago, we are told, the plateau drifted over a hotspot in the Mantle – and this caused a burst of volcanism. Hotspots are a popular mainstream theory at the moment so good thinking in linking it to that culprit. A similar thing occurred 13 million years ago, they add, and in the last 3 million years tectonic movements along the Tonga Trench have triggered furthern seismic activity and growth.

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