The northeast Pacific Ocean and Hawaii
This chapter highlights salient aspects of the geology of the northeast Pacific basin and its interactions with the rim of North America. We include all the Pacific from the equator northward to the Aleutians, and from the North American continental margin westward to longitude 165ŶE—an area about twice that of North America. The treatment is thus necessarily summary; for a more complete and balanced coverage, and for more complete lists of the works that have contributed to our knowledge of the northeast Pacific region, see Winterer and others (1989).
There has been a veritable explosion of knowledge about the northeast Pacific in the 25 years since the appearance of Menard’s (1964) Marine Geology of the Pacific. Since then, the major features of the magnetic anomaly pattern have been mapped, and can be interpreted in the framework of plate tectonics; an extensive web of seismic reflection lines and cores from a network of about 150 deep-sea drill holes provides the data and samples for dating, correlating and interpreting the oceanic sedimentary cover, the constitution of the oceanic crust, and the tectonics of the continental margins. New swathmapping techniques and near-bottom observations and sampling using deep-towed instruments and manned submersibles have opened a window into the processes of crustal accretion and hydrothermal activity along active spreading centers, and modern instrumentation has provided a rich new data base for interpretation of active volcanism in Hawaii.
To synthesize the new findings, we have organized this chapter into two topical sections and one geographic section;