Plate Kinematic Controls on Accretion

  1. John W. Hillhouse
  1. Donna M. Jurdy

Published Online: 18 MAR 2013

DOI: 10.1029/GM050p0093

Deep Structure and Past Kinematics of Accreted Terranes

Deep Structure and Past Kinematics of Accreted Terranes

How to Cite

Jurdy, D. M. (1989) Plate Kinematic Controls on Accretion, in Deep Structure and Past Kinematics of Accreted Terranes (ed J. W. Hillhouse), American Geophysical Union, Washington, D. C.. doi: 10.1029/GM050p0093

Author Information

  1. Department of Geological Sciences, Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 18 MAR 2013
  2. Published Print: 1 JAN 1989

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9780875904542

Online ISBN: 9781118666609



  • Geology, Structural—Congresses;
  • Geodynamics—Congresses;
  • Earth—Crust—Congresses


The approaches for reconstruction of a subducting plate relative to an over-riding one necessitate either the assumption of fixed hotspots, or the use of a relative plate motion circuit. Each approach has its own assumptions and errors. The uncertainties associated with the two approaches are estimated for the Pacific and Farallon plates reconstructed relative to North America for three times, chron 6 (20 Ma), chron 13 (37 Ma), and chron 25 (56 Ma), with the assumption of a 10 km misfit in the location of magnetic anomalies and 50 km for individual hotspots. Comparing the poles of rotation for both approaches indicates that there is a statistically significant difference between the reconstructions, because the error ellipsoids do not intersect. This difference is greater for earlier reconstructions. Non-fixity of the hotspot framework could account for the discrepancy. The simplest scenario, net motion of the Atlantic and Pacific hotspots, defines a rotation pole between these frameworks that varies systemically with time. Another possible explanation includes ignorance of a plate boundary that was active over the whole Cenozoic.