Sedimentary Provinces of the North Pacific
A survey of 250 long piston cores from the North Pacific Ocean reveals that cores taken within definite areas of the sea floor have common sediment characteristics. These belong to distinct regions and are named sedimentary provinces.
Three orders of sedimentary provinces occur in the North Pacific Basin. First order provinces follow the general form of the basin and are of great areal extent. They are sites of pelagic deposition and are named the Central North Pacific, Japan-Kuril, and Aleutian-Alaskan Provinces. Because the North Pacific Basin is protected from large-scale basinward transfer of terrigenous sediment, the limits of first order provinces match the boundaries of major water masses.
Second order provinces are dominated by features of positive submarine relief, are restricted in size, and their boundaries follow the configuration of hills and ridges. They include the Hawaiian Ridge, Marcus-Necker Ridge, Shatsky Rise, Emperor Seamount Chain, and Ridge and Trough Provinces. Sediment accumulating on and around these features is a function of the depth of crestal portions of submarine highs.
Third order provinces constitute a narrow zone of terrigenous sediment around the rim of the North Pacific Basin. Included are the floors of the circum-Pacific trench system and a portion of the northeastern corner of the Pacific. Two are named: the Aleutian Trench and the Northeast Pacific Turbidite Provinces.