The Hawaiian-Emperor Chain
David A. Clague, G. Brent Dalrymple, T. L. Wright, F. W. Klein, R. Y. Koyanagi, R. W. Decker, D. M. Thomas, 1989. "The Hawaiian-Emperor Chain", The Eastern Pacific Ocean and Hawaii, E. L. Winterer, Donald M. Hussong, Robert W. Decker
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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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This new synthesis includes a section on plate kinematics, documenting the basis for a new interpretation of the magnetic anomaly patterns. It also includes: six chapters on various aspects of tectonics, petrologic characteristics, and hydrothermal processes of active ridges from the Galapagos Rift to the Juan de Fuca Ridge; a section on mid-plate volcanism, including the Hawaii-Emperor chain; five chapters on various aspects of northeastern Pacific sedimentary regimes; and nine chapters on the geology of the Pacific continental margin from the Aleutians to Guatemala, seen from the perspective of marine geology. Three separate oversize plates illustrate the bathymetry of the northeast Pacific; two more on the same base show distribution of sediment samples and types and magnetic anomaly data and tectonic interpretations; and others include a synthesis of the geology and bathymetry of the Hawaiian Islands, details of bathymetry along parts of the East Pacific Rise, and a major seismic profile across the Pacific margin of Guatemala.