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Book Chapter

The Hawaiian-Emperor Chain

By
David A. Clague
David A. Clague
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G. Brent Dalrymple
G. Brent Dalrymple
U.S. Geological Survey, 345 Middlefield Road, Menlo Park, California 94025
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T. L. Wright
T. L. Wright
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F. W. Klein
F. W. Klein
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R. Y. Koyanagi
R. Y. Koyanagi
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R. W. Decker
R. W. Decker
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D. M. Thomas
D. M. Thomas
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Published:
January 01, 1989

Abstract

Intraplate volcanism within the Pacific Plate not generated at spreading plate margins is most obvious in Hawaii and the Hawaiian-Emperor volcanic chain. This chain forms a global relief feature of the first order. This chapter consists of five separate sections that summarize the volcanism and geology of Hawaii and the Hawaiian-Emperor chain.

Less obvious but probably greater in overall volume are other seamounts and seamount chains scattered across the northern and eastern Pacific basin. Some of these appear to owe their origin to intraplate volcanism, but many probably formed at mid-ocean ridges. Batiza (this volume, Chapter 13) discusses these other, largely submarine, volcanoes.

The Island of Hawaii lies at the southeastern end of the Hawaiian-Emperor volcanic chain—a dogleg ridge, largely submarine, stretching nearly 6,000 km across the north Pacific Ocean basin. From Hawaii the chain extends northwestward along the Hawaiian Ridge to a major bend beyond Kure Atoll. North of the bend the chain continues in a northward direction as the submarine ridge of the Emperor Seamounts. Volcanoes are active at the southeast end of the chain and become progressively older to the northwest, reaching ages of 75 to 80 million years at the north end of the Emperor Seamounts. Most of this volcanic chain, with an estimated area of 1,200,000 km2, lies beneath the ocean. Only the Hawaiian Islands and a few atolls of the Hawaiian Ridge, totaling some 16,878 km2, rise above the sea (Plate 5).

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Contents

DNAG, Geology of North America

The Eastern Pacific Ocean and Hawaii

E. L. Winterer
E. L. Winterer
Scripps Institution of Oceanography La Jolla, California 92093
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Donald M. Hussong
Donald M. Hussong
University of Hawaii Department of Geology and Geophysics Honolulu, Hawaii 96822
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Robert W. Decker
Robert W. Decker
4087 Silver Bar Road Mariposa, California 95338
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Geological Society of America
Volume
N
ISBN electronic:
9780813754659
Publication date:
January 01, 1989

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