Report

50-Ma Initiation of Hawaiian-Emperor Bend Records Major Change in Pacific Plate Motion

Science  01 Sep 2006:
Vol. 313, Issue 5791, pp. 1281-1284
DOI: 10.1126/science.1128489

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Abstract

The Hawaiian-Emperor bend has played a prominent yet controversial role in deciphering past Pacific plate motions and the tempo of plate motion change. New ages for volcanoes of the central and southern Emperor chain define large changes in volcanic migration rate with little associated change in the chain's trend, which suggests that the bend did not form by slowing of the Hawaiian hot spot. Initiation of the bend near Kimmei seamount about 50 million years ago (MA) was coincident with realignment of Pacific spreading centers and early magmatism in western Pacific arcs, consistent with formation of the bend by changed Pacific plate motion.

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