Marine Geophysical Research

, Volume 38, Issue 1–2, pp 169–185 | Cite as

Morphology of Shatsky Rise oceanic plateau from high resolution bathymetry

  • Jinchang Zhang
  • William W. Sager
  • William J. Durkin
Original Research Paper


Newly collected, high resolution multi-beam sonar data are combined with previous bathymetry data to produce an improved bathymetric map of Shatsky Rise oceanic plateau. Bathymetry data show that two massifs within Shatsky Rise are immense central volcanoes with gentle flank slopes declining from a central summit. Tamu Massif is a slightly elongated, dome-like volcanic edifice; Ori Massif is square shaped and smaller in area. Several down-to-basin normal faults are observed on the western flank of the massifs but they do not parallel the magnetic lineations, indicating that these faults are probably not related to spreading ridge faulting. Moreover, the faults are observed only on one side of the massifs, which is contrary to expectations from a mechanism of differential subsidence around the massif center. Multi-beam data show many small secondary cones with different shapes and sizes that are widely-distributed on Shatsky Rise massifs, which imply small late-stage magma sources scattered across the surface of the volcanoes in the form of lava flows or explosive volcanism. Erosional channels occur on the flanks of Shatsky Rise volcanoes due to mass wasting and display evidence of down-slope sediment movement. These channels are likely formed by sediments spalling off the edges of summit sediment cap.


Ridge-ridge-ridge triple junction Large igneous province Oceanic plateau Shatsky rise Multi-beam sounding High resolution bathymetry 



We thank Jun Korenaga, the Captain, crew, and technical staff of the R/V Marcus G. Langseth for assisting in collection of geophysical data during two cruises. We thank Chris F. Paul for helping with the multi-beam sonar acquisition and data processing. We thank two anonymous reviewers for helpful critiques. This project was supported by National Science Foundation Grants OCE-0926945 and OCE-0926611, National Natural Science Foundation of China Grants 91328205 and 41376062, Key Laboratory of Marine Mineral Resources, Ministry of Land and Resources of China Grant KLMMR-2014-B-06, Key Laboratory of Marginal Sea Geology, Chinese Academy of Sciences Grant MSGL15-04, Natural Science Foundation of Guangdong Province in China Grant 2015A030310374, Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security of China Grant 50603-54, the Mariana Trench Project of the South China Sea Institute of Oceanology of Chinese Academy of Sciences, and China Scholarship Council for joint education program between Texas A&M University and Ocean University of China.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jinchang Zhang
    • 1
    • 4
  • William W. Sager
    • 2
    • 4
  • William J. Durkin
    • 3
  1. 1.Key Laboratory of Marginal Sea Geology, South China Sea Institute of OceanologyChinese Academy of SciencesGuangzhouChina
  2. 2.Department of Earth and Atmospheric SciencesUniversity of HoustonHoustonUSA
  3. 3.Department of Geology and GeophysicsTexas A&M UniversityCollege StationUSA
  4. 4.Department of OceanographyTexas A&M UniversityCollege StationUSA

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