Advertisement

Origin of the 43 Ma Bend Along the Hawaiian-Emperor Seamount Chain: Problem and Solution

Abstract

The Hawaiian-Emperor Seamount chain (H-E SMC) on the Pacific Plate Figs. 4.1 and 4.2 a,b) is the best-defined hotspot track on the Earth. If hotspots are surface manifestations of deep, fixed sources of mantle plumes (Morgan 1971, 1981), then the along-track volcanic age progression away from Hawaii (e.g., Clague and Dalrymple 1989) must record the direction, absolute velocity, and possible changes of the Pacific Plate motion. This would suggest that the prominent ∼43 Ma Bend along the H-E SMC reflects a sudden change in Pacific Plate motion direction by ∼60°. However, the actual cause of the 43Ma Bend is unknown. A leading hypothesis is that the collision between India and Eurasia some ∼45 Ma ago might have triggered the sudden reorientation of the Pacific Plate motion from northward to northwestward, hence the 43Ma Bend (Dalrymple and Clauge 1976; Patriat and Achache 1984).This collision, however, is shown to have had no effect on the Pacific Plate motion (Lithgow-Bertelloni and Richards 1998). The lack of apparent mechanism for such a sudden change in Pacific Plate motion direction led to the speculation (Norton 1995) that the ∼43 Ma Bend may have resulted from a southward drift of the Hawaiian hotspot prior to ∼43 Ma. Indeed, recent paleomagnetic studies (Tarduno and Gee 1995; Tarduno and Cottrel 1997; Christensen 1998; Sager 2002), plate reconstructions (Acton and Gordon 1994; Norton 1995, 2000; DiVenere and Kent 1999; Raymond et al. 2000), mantle flow models (Steinberger and O’Connell 2000), and statistical analysis of plate motions using seamount geochronology (Koppers et al. 2001) tall indicate that hotspots are not fixed, but they move individually or in groups at speeds up to 60 mm yr−1.

Keywords

Mantle Plume Plate Motion Pacific Plate Paleomagnetic Data Plume Head 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Abbott DH, Drury R, Mooney WD (1997) Continents as lithological icebergs: The importance of buoyant lithospheric roots. Earth Planet Sci Lett 149:15–27CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Acton GD, Gordon RG (1994) Paleomagnetic tests of Pacific plate reconstructions and implications for motion between hotspots. Science 263:1246–1254CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Albarède F (1998) The growth of continental crust. Tectonophys 296:1–14CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Atwater T (1989) Plate tectonic history of the northeast Pacific and North America. In: Winterer EL, Hussong DM, Decker RW (eds) The geology of North America — The eastern Pacific and Hawaii. Geol Soc Amer vol N:21–72Google Scholar
  5. Ben-Avraham Z, Nur A, Jones D, Cox A (1981) Continental accretion: From oceanic plateaus to allochthonous terranes. Science 213:47–54CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Bogdanov NA, Dobretsov NL (2002) The Okhotsk volcanic oceanic plateau. Geologiya I Geofizika 42: 1011–114Google Scholar
  7. Burke K, Fox PJ, Sengör MC (1978) Buoyant ocean floor and the origin of the Caribbean. J Geophys Res 83:3949–3954CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Campbell IH, Griffiths RW (1990) Implications of mantle plume structure for the evolution of flood basalts. Earth Planet Sci Lett 99:79–93CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Christensen U (1998) Fixed hotspots gone with wind. Nature 391:739–740CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Clague DA, Dalrymple GB (1989) Tectonic, geochronology and origin of the Hawaii-Emperor Chain. In: Winterer EL, Hussong DM, Decker RW (eds) The geology of North America — The eastern Pacific and Hawaii. Geol Soc Amer vol N:188–217Google Scholar
  11. Dalrymple GB, Clague DA (1976) Age of the Hawaiian-Emperor bend. Earth Plan et Sci Lett 31:313–329CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Davies GF, Richards MA (1992) Mantle convection. J Geol 100:151–206CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. DiVenere V, Kent DV (1999) Are the Pacific and Indo-Atlantic hotspots fixed? Testing the plate circuit through Antarctica. Earth Planet Sci Lett 170:105–117CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Forsyth DW, Uyeda S (1975) On the relative importance of the driving forces of plate motion. Geophys. J R Astr Soc 43:163–200CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Garver JI, Solovier AV, Bullen ME, Brandon MT (2000) Towards a more complete record of magmatism and exhumation in continental arcs, using detrital fission-track thermochrometry. Phys Chem Earth A 25:565–570CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Gordon RG, Cox A, Harter CE (1978) Absolute motion of an individual plate estimated from its ridge and trench boundaries. Nature 274:752–755CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Griffiths RW, Campbell IH (1990) Stirring and structure in mantle starting plumes. Earth Planet Sci Lett 99:66–78CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Harada Y, Hamano Y (2000) Recent progress on the plate motion relative to hotspots Geophys Monogr 121:327–338Google Scholar
  19. Hawkins JW, Lonsdale PF, Batiza R (1987) Petrologic evolution of the Louisville Seamount Chain. Geophys Monogr 43:235–254CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Herzberg C (1999) Phase equilibrium constraints on the formation of cratonic mantle Geochem Soc Spec Publ 6:241–258Google Scholar
  21. Herzberg C, O’Hara MJ (1998) Phase equilibrium constraints on the origin of basalts, picrites, and komatiites. Earth Sci Rev 44:39–79CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Hill RI, Campbell IH, Davies GF, Griffiths RW (1992) Mantle plumes and continental tectonics. Science 256:186–193CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Keller RA, Duncan RA, Fisk MR (1995) Geochemistry and 40Ar/39Ar geochronology of basalts from ODP Leg 145. ODP Sci Results 145:333–344Google Scholar
  24. Kono M (1980) Paleomagnetism of DSDP Leg 55 basalts and implications for the tectonics of the Pacific plate. Init Rep Deep Sea Drilling Project 55:737–752Google Scholar
  25. Koppers AAP, Phipps Morgan J, Morgan JW, Staudigel H (2001) Testing the fixed hotspot hypothesis using and 40Ar/39Ar age progressions along seamount trails. Earth Planet Sci Lett 185:237–252CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Lithgow-Bertelloni C, Richards MA (1998) The dynamics of Cenozoic and Mesozoic plate motions. Rev Geophys 36:27–78CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Lonsdale P (1988) Geography and history of the Louisville hotspot chain in the Southern Pacific. J Geophys Res 93:3078–3104CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Mahoney H, Storey M, Duncan RA, Spencer KJ, Pringle M (1993) Geochemistry and age of the Ontong Java Plateau. Geophys Monogr 77:233–262CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Moberly R (1972) Origin of lithosphere behind island arcs with reference to the western Pacific. Geol Soc Amer Mem 132:35–55Google Scholar
  30. Molnar P, Atwater T (1973) Relative motion of hotspots in the mantle. Nature 246:288–291CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Morgan WJ (1971) Convection plumes in the lower mantle. Nature 230:42–43CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Morgan JW (1981) Hotspot tracks and opening of the Atlantic and Indian Oceans. In: Emiliani C (ed) The sea. Wiley New York, vol 7, pp 443–487Google Scholar
  33. Niu Y (1997) Mantle melting and melt extraction processes beneath ocean ridges: Evidence from abyssal peridotites. J Petrol 38:1047–1074CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Niu Y, Batiza R (1991) In-situ densities of silicate melts and minerals as a function of temperature, pressure, and composition. J Geol 99:767–775CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Niu Y, O’Hara MT, Pearce JA (2001) Initiation of subduction zones: A consequence of lateral compositional buoyancy contrast within the lithosphere. Eos Trans AGU 82:(47) Fall Meet Suppl F10Google Scholar
  36. Niu Y, O’Hara MT, Pearce JA (2003) Initiation of subduction zones as a consequence of lateral compositional buoyancy contrast within the lithosphere: A petrologic perspective. J Petrol 44:851–866CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Norton I0 (1995) Plate motions in the Pacific: The 43 Ma non event. Tectonics 14:1080–1094CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Norton I0 (2000) Global hotspot reference frame and plate motion. Geophys Monogr 121:339–358CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Patriat P, Achache J (1984) India-Eurasia collision chronology has implications for crustal shortening and driving mechanism of plate. Nature 311:615–621CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Raymond CA, Stock JM, Cande SC (2000) Fast paleogene motion of the Pacific hotspots from revised global plate circuit constraints. Geophys Monogr 121:359–376CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Richards MA, Griffiths RW (1988) Deflection of plumes by mantle shear flow: Experimental results and a simple theory, Geophys J Int 94:367–376CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Richards MA, Duncan RA, Courtillot VE (1989) Flood basalts and hotspot tracks: Plume heads and tails. Science 246:103–107CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Sager WW (2002) Basalt core paleomagnetic data from Ocean Drilling Program Site 883 on Detroit Seamount, northern Emperor Seamount chain, and implications for the paleolatitude of the Hawaiian hotspot. Earth Planet Sci Lett 199:347–358CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Steinberger B, O’Connell RJ (2000) Effects of mantle flow on hotspot motion. Geophys Monogr 121: 377–398CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Tarduno JA, Cottrel RD (1997) Paleomagnetic evidence for motion of Hawaiian hotspot during format ion of the Emperor Seamounts. Earth Planet Sci lett 153:171–180CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Tarduno JA, Gee J (1995) Large-scale motion between Pacific and Atlantic hotspots. Nature 378: 477–480CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Tarduno JA, Duncan RA, Cottrell RD, Scholl DW, ODP Leg 197 Shipboard Scientific Party (2001) Motion of Hawaiian hotspot during formation of the Emperor Seamounts: Initial results of ODP Leg 197. Eos Trans AGU 82:(47), Fall Meet Suppl F1116Google Scholar
  48. Taylor B (1993) Island arcs, deep sea trenches, and back-arc basins. Oceanus 35:17–25Google Scholar
  49. Watt AB, Weissel JK, Duncan RA, Larson RL (1988) Origin of the Louisville Ridge and its relationship to the Eltanin Fracture zone system. J Geophys Res 93:3051–3077CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Wessel P, Kroenke LW (2000) Ontong Java Plateau and late Neogene changes in Pacific plate motion. J Geophys Res 105:28255–28277CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Whitehead JA, Luther Jr PS (1975) Dynamics of laboratory diapir and plume models. J Geophys Res 80: 705–717CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Zhao D (2001) Seismic structure and origin of hotspots and mantle plumes. Earth Planet Sci Lett 192: 251–265CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Zonenshain LP, Kononov MV, Savostin LA (1987) Pacific and Kula/Eurasia relative mot ions during the last 130 Ma and their bearing on orogenesis in northeast Asia, Geodynamic Ser 18:29–48CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Zonenshain LP, Kuzmin MI, Natapov LM (1990) Foldbelts of the Northeast USSR, Taimyr and the Arctic. Geodynamic Ser 21:121–146CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Y. Niu

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations