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Book Chapter

Seamounts and seamount chains of the eastern Pacific

By
Rodey Batiza
Rodey Batiza
Hawaii Institute of Geophysics, University of Hawaii, Honolulu, Hawaii 96822
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Published:
January 01, 1989

Abstract

The part of the Pacific covered in this volume contains a wide variety of constructional volcanic features: volcanic rises (Hess Rise), volcanic ridges (Cocos Ridge), large seamount chains (Line Islands, Pratt-Welker chain, the Fieberling Chain, and the Musician seamounts), small chains like those west of the Juan de Fuca Ridge, guyots, and many seamounts that are not members of linear chains but instead are distributed in patchy clusters or small groups or are isolated. In the eastern Pacific, unlike the western and south Pacific, volcanic topography is not dominated by large linear island and seamount chains (Menard, 1964). Instead, the most abundant seamounts of the eastern Pacific are clustered and isolated volcanoes. The purpose of this chapter is to discuss the characteristics, distribution, and origin of the volcanoes and groups of volcanoes in the eastern Pacific exclusive of the Hawaii-Emperor chain, which is discussed else-where (Clague, this volume).

Some of the volcanoes and linear groups of the eastern Pacific are probably of hotspot origin; most probably are not. The origin of many of these not-hotspot volcanoes is probably linked to mid-ocean ridge volcanism, but others may originate on old lithosphere far from active ridge crests. Oceanic volcanoes of non-hotspot character are almost certainly of several types, inasmuch as there are many tectonic environments in which a favorable combination of magma availability and plumbing systems can lead to the formation of volcanoes. These conditions may prevail for a variety of reasons in both near–ridge crest and off-ridge locations. The study of seamount volcanism thus contributes directly to solution of a variety of problems concerning the characteristics, origin, and evolution of oceanic lithosphere.

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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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