Seismic stratigraphy of Detroit Seamount, Hawaiian-Emperor seamount chain: Post-hot-spot shield-building volcanism and deposition of the Meiji drift



[1] Detroit Seamount, one of the northernmost seamounts of the Hawaiian-Emperor seamount chain, was formed at ca. 76 Ma. New seismic data suggest renewed volcanism as late as 25 m.y. after initial seamount formation. We use high-resolution single-channel seismic (SCS) data acquired over the summit of Detroit Seamount in 2001 on Ocean Drilling Program (ODP) Leg 197, supplemented by older SCS data acquired as part of the GLORIA mapping program of the U.S. Geological Survey, to characterize the seismic stratigraphy of Detroit Seamount. Volcanic edifices occur on the summit of the seamount and are older than the oldest beds of the Meiji drift (early Oligocene: ca. 34 Ma). On the basis of ash layers in ODP drill holes, we suggest the edifices were active throughout much of the Eocene (ca. 52–34 Ma), with activity possibly extending into the early Oligocene (<34 Ma). Hence the age difference between the shield-building lavas and the postshield cones on Detroit is far greater than the shield/postshield age differences observed on the Hawaiian Islands, suggesting that renewed volcanic activity and tectonic collapse may be possible on any of the Hawaiian Islands. We confirm earlier assertions that the thick sediment cap, Oligocene and younger in age, was deposited by an ocean-bottom current with a southeastward flow direction, along the northeast facing flank of the Emperor Seamount chain. This sediment cap, the Meiji drift, was deposited by a lower-velocity current than many other sediment drifts. A low-angle normal fault, dipping ∼19°, suggests topographic collapse of Detroit seamount sometime during the Eocene or late Cretaceous.