Several young lava fields were imaged by GLORIA sidescan sonar along the Hawaiian Arch south of Hawaii. The largest, 35 by 50 km across, includes a central area characterized by high sonar backscatter and composed of several flow lobes radiating from a vent area. Reflection profiling and sea-floor photography indicate that the central lobes are flat sheet flowsbounded by pillowed margins; thin surface sediment and thin palagonite rinds on lava surfaces suggest ages of 1-10 ka. Vents are localized along the arch crest near bases of Cretaceous seamounts. Two dredged flows are basanite and alkalic basalt, broadly similar to rejuvenated-stage and some pre-shield alkalic lavas on the Hawaiian Ridge. Arch volcanism representsperipheral leakage of melt from the Hawaiian hot spot over much larger areas than previously recognized.

First Page Preview

First page PDF preview
You do not currently have access to this article.