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The late Cenozoic stratigraphic record and hiatuses of the northeast Pacific; Results from the Deep Sea Drilling Project

By
John A. Barron
John A. Barron
U.S. Geological Survey, 345 Middlefield Road, Menlo Park, California 94025
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Published:
January 01, 1989

The northeast Pacific between the equator and 60°N includes equatorial, subtropical, temperate, and subarctic waters (Sverdrup and others, 1946). Within the equatorial Pacific, upwelling is induced by winds and by the interaction of the Equatorial Countercurrent with both the North and South Equatorial Currents. Surface waters are enriched in nutrients, forming the highly fertile equatorial high productivity zone (Wyrtki, 1966; Theyer and others, this volume).

The dominant oceanographic feature of the temperate to subarctic northeastern Pacific is the Subarctic Front, which separates fertile subarctic waters from warmer (>20°C in the summer), less fertile waters of the subtropical gyre. The Subarctic Front is maintained at about 40°N between the eastward-flowing West Wind Drift and North Pacific Current (Dodimead and others, 1963). As the West Wind Drift approaches the North American coast, it is deflected southward to become the California Current (Dodimead and others, 1963). To the north, the Aleutian Current is deflected northward into the Gulf of Alaska to form the counterclockwise Alaska Gyre (Dodimead and others, 1963). The California Current dominates the eastern margin of the northeast Pacific, where it transports cool, fertile waters as far south as the tip of Baja California (23°N) (Sverdrup and others, 1946).

Within the fertile regions of the northeast Pacific, sediment is enriched by the carbonate and siliceous skeletons of foraminifers, nannofossils, diatoms, and radiolarians. Mixed carbonate and siliceous biogenic oozes are found beneath the equatorial high productivity zone, where the Calcite Compensation Depth (CCD) is depressed (van Andel and others, 1975; Theyer and others, this volume).

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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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