Abstract

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.

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