Molokai Fracture Zone: Continuation West of the Hawaiian Ridge

Science  29 Jul 1966:
Vol. 153, Issue 3735, pp. 521-522
DOI: 10.1126/science.153.3735.521


The Molokai Fracture Zone is one of the principal east-west (striking) fracture zones between California and the mid-Pacific. On the basis of bathymetry alone, it has been assumed that the zone ended abruptly east of the Hawaiian Islands. Use of correlation techniques between bathymetric features and their magnetic anomalies in the vicinity of the islands now show that structural elements of the zone cross the islands and continue westward for at least 130 kilometers. Recent volcanism and deep rift zones of the islands parallel the zone, suggesting structural correlation between the strike of the zone and the origin of recent volcanism in the islands.