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Age, character, and significance of Aleutian arc volcanism

By
John H. Fournelle
John H. Fournelle
Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, The Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland 21218
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Bruce D. Marsh
Bruce D. Marsh
Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, The Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland 21218
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James D. Myers
James D. Myers
Department of Geology and Geophysics, University of Wyoming, Laramie, Wyoming 82071
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Published:
January 01, 1994

Abstract

The Aleutian volcanic arc stretches nearly 3,000 km, from the Commander Islands off Kamchatka (U.S.S.R.), along the southern Bering Sea margin, and across the continental margin onto the Alaskan landmass. Intimately associated with the arc is the subduction of the Pacific Plate beneath the North American Plate. To the east, subduction is nearly orthogonal but becomes increasingly oblique westward. Near Buldir Island, motion between the two plates becomes strike-slip and volcanism ceases. The Aleutian volcanic front, which has in many places remained nearly fixed for at least several tens of millions of years, contains about 80 major volcanic vents, half of which have been historically active. These vents have yielded a spectrum of rock types, from basalt through andesite to dacite and rhyolite. This diversity of rock types is present throughout the history of nearly all the volcanic centers, almost regardless of volcano size and age.

Several features of the Aleutian volcanic arc—a long history of fixed volcanism extending from continental to oceanic crust, the focusing of large amounts of thermal energy on small areas of crust for long periods of time, the pattern of changing convergence, as well as the diversity of rock types—present an excellent opportunity to study the connection between global tectonics, magmatism, and continent evolution. The study of Aleutian volcanism can shed light both on deep-seated magmatic processes and on the interplay of the chemistry and physics of magma evolution, and particularly on the near-surface behavior of magma in various local tectonic

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Contents

DNAG, Geology of North America

The Geology of Alaska

George Plafker
George Plafker
U.S. Geological Survey MS 904, 345 Middlefield Road Menlo Park, California 94025
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Henry C. Berg
Henry C. Berg
115 Malvern Avenue Fullerton, California 92632
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Geological Society of America
Volume
G-1
ISBN electronic:
9780813754536
Publication date:
January 01, 1994

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