Asynchronous Bends in Pacific Seamount Trails: A Case for Extensional Volcanism?

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Science  11 Feb 2005:
Vol. 307, Issue 5711, pp. 904-907
DOI: 10.1126/science.1107260

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The Gilbert Ridge and Tokelau Seamounts are the only seamount trails in the Pacific Ocean with a sharp 60° bend, similar to the Hawaii-Emperor bend (HEB). These two bends should be coeval with the 47-million-year-old HEB if they were formed by stationary hot spots, and assuming Pacific plate motion only. New 40Ar/39Ar ages indicate that the bends in the Gilbert Ridge and Tokelau seamount trail were formed much earlier than the HEB at 67 and 57 million years ago, respectively. Such asynchronous bends cannot be reconciled with the stationary hot spot paradigm, possibly suggesting hot spot motion or magmatism caused by short-term local lithospheric extension.

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