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Mid-Cretaceous tectonic evolution of the Tongareva triple junction in the southwestern Pacific Basin

Larson, Roger L. and Pockalny, Robert A. and Viso, Richard F. and Erba, Elisabetta and Abrams, Lewis J. and Luyendyk, Bruce P. and Stock, Joann M. and Clayton, Robert W. (2002) Mid-Cretaceous tectonic evolution of the Tongareva triple junction in the southwestern Pacific Basin. Geology, 30 (1). pp. 67-70. ISSN 0091-7613. http://resolver.caltech.edu/CaltechAUTHORS:20121001-150237189

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Abstract

The trace of the ridge-ridge-ridge triple junction that connected the Pacific, Farallon, and Phoenix plates during mid-Cretaceous time originates at the northeast corner of the Manihiki Plateau near the Tongareva atoll, for which the structure is named. The triple junction trace extends >3250 km south-southeast, to and beyond a magnetic anomaly 34 bight. It is identified by the intersection of nearly orthogonal abyssal hill fabrics, which mark the former intersections of the Pacific-Phoenix and Pacific-Farallon Ridges. A distinct trough is commonly present at the intersection. A volcanic episode from 125 to 120 Ma created the Manihiki Plateau with at least twice its present volume, and displaced the triple junction southeast from the Nova-Canton Trough to the newly formed Manihiki Plateau. Almost simultaneously, the plateau was rifted by the new triple junction system, and large fragments of the plateau were rafted away to the south and east. The Tongareva triple junction originated ca. 119 Ma, when carbonate sedimentation began atop the Manihiki Plateau. Subsequent spreading rates on the Pacific-Phoenix and Pacific-Farallon Ridges averaged 18–20 cm/yr until 84 Ma.


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http://dx.doi.org/10.1130/0091-7613(2002)030<0067:MCTEOT>2.0.CO;2DOIUNSPECIFIED
http://geology.gsapubs.org/content/30/1/67PublisherUNSPECIFIED
http://geology.geoscienceworld.org/content/30/1/67PublisherUNSPECIFIED
Additional Information:© 2002 Geological Society of America. Manuscript received June 1, 2001; Revised manuscript received September 20, 2001; Manuscript accepted October 1, 2001. We thank the personnel on Expeditions Cook-4 and Kiwi-12 for professional support at sea and J. Mammerickx for helpful discussions. R. Sutherland and S. Gulick provided comprehensive and useful reviews. This research is sponsored by National Science Foundation grant OCE-9818776 to the University of Rhode Island, and by funding from the University of California and the California Institute of Technology.
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Funding AgencyGrant Number
NSFOCE-9818776
University of CaliforniaUNSPECIFIED
CaltechUNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords:Pacific Ocean, tectonics, marine geology, submarine geomorphology
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20121001-150237189
Persistent URL:http://resolver.caltech.edu/CaltechAUTHORS:20121001-150237189
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:34604
Collection:CaltechAUTHORS
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:01 Oct 2012 22:08
Last Modified:01 Oct 2012 22:08

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