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Sediment thickness map of the Northeast Pacific

By
E. L. Winterer
E. L. Winterer
Scripps Institution of Oceanography, La Jolla, California 92093
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Published:
January 01, 1989

Abstract

Figure 1 portrays sediment thickness on the ocean floor in the Northeast Pacific. The very generalized contours show the total thickness of sediments, in kilometers, from the sea floor to the top of basaltic basement.

Except for detailed maps of small areas, sediment thickness maps necessarily must generalize and average local variations in thickness. The abyssal hill topography created during accretion of normal oceanic crust generally has local relief on the order of 100 m over distances of 10 to 20 km, and sediments do not accumulate evenly over this initial relief, even in regions of purely pelagic sedimentation (Fig. 2). In areas of pronounced basement relief— for example, along fracture zones and around seamounts and submarine ridges—local thickness variations can assume extreme values. The contours in Figure 1 are meant to depict typical values; no attempt is made to show small-scale local variations.

Over most of the map area, the thickness depicted is to the top of normal oceanic basaltic crust, but in some areas, strongly reflective chert layers and midplate volcanic rocks mask the oceanic basement on reflection records, and the thickness shown is what is discernible on seismic profiles.

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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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