Papers on Geomagnetism and Paleomagnetism Marine Geology and Geophysics
Near-ridge seamount chains in the northeastern Pacific Ocean
Article first published online: 20 SEP 2012
Copyright 2000 by the American Geophysical Union.
Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth (1978–2012)
Volume 105, Issue B7, pages 16541–16561, 10 July 2000
How to Cite
2000), Near-ridge seamount chains in the northeastern Pacific Ocean, J. Geophys. Res., 105(B7), 16541–16561, doi:10.1029/2000JB900082., , and (
- Issue published online: 20 SEP 2012
- Article first published online: 20 SEP 2012
- Manuscript Accepted: 8 MAR 2000
- Manuscript Received: 11 JUN 1999
High-resolution bathymetry and side-scan data of the Vance, President Jackson, and Taney near-ridge seamount chains in the northeast Pacific were collected with a hull-mounted 30-kHz sonar. The central volcanoes in each chain consist of truncated cone-shaped volcanoes with steep sides and nearly flat tops. Several areas are characterized by frequent small eruptions that result in disorganized volcanic regions with numerous small cones and volcanic ridges but no organized truncated conical structure. Several volcanoes are crosscut by ridge-parallel faults, showing that they formed within 30–40 km of the ridge axis where ridge-parallel faulting is still active. Magmas that built the volcanoes were probably transported through the crust along active ridge-parallel faults. The volcanoes range in volume from 11 to 187 km3, and most have one or more multiple craters and calderas that modify their summits and flanks. The craters (<1 km diameter) and calderas (>1 km diameter) range from small pit craters to calderas as large as 6.5×8.5 km, although most are 2–4 km across. Crosscutting relationships commonly show a sequence of calderas stepping toward the ridge axis. The calderas overlie crustal magma chambers at least as large as those that underlie Kilauea and Mauna Loa Volcanoes in Hawaii, perhaps 4–5 km in diameter and ∼1–3 km below the surface. The nearly flat tops of many of the volcanoes have remnants of centrally located summit shields, suggesting that their flat tops did not form from eruptions along circumferential ring faults but instead form by filling and overflowing of earlier large calderas. The lavas retain their primitive character by residing in such chambers for only short time periods prior to eruption. Stored magmas are withdrawn, probably as dikes intruded into the adjacent ocean crust along active ridge-parallel faults, triggering caldera collapse, or solidified before the next batch of magma is intruded into the volcano, probably 1000–10,000 years later. The chains are oriented parallel to subaxial asthenospheric flow rather than absolute or relative plate motion vectors. The subaxial asthenospheric flow model yields rates of volcanic migration of 3.4, 3.3 and 5.9 cm yr−1 for the Vance, President Jackson, and Taney Seamounts, respectively. The modeled lifespans of the individual volcanoes in the three chains vary from 75 to 95 kyr. These lifespans, coupled with the geologic observations based on the bathymetry, allow us to construct models of magma supply through time for the volcanoes in the three chains.