Pliocene change in Pacific-Plate motion

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Authors:Pollitz, Fred F.
Author Affiliations:Primary:
Princeton Univ., Dep. Geol. and Geophys. Sci., Princeton, NJ, United States
Volume Title:Nature (London)
Source:Nature (London), 320(6064), p.738-741. Publisher: Macmillan Journals, London, United Kingdom. ISSN: 0028-0836
Publication Date:1986
Note:In English. 25 refs.; 1 table, sketch maps
Summary:The absolute motion of the Pacific plate has been nearly constant during the past 15 Myr, but Epp recognized that some change took place between 15 Myr and the present, and tentatively chose 1 Myr for the time of the change. Cox and Engebretson found a change in Pacific absolute motion based on hotspot tracks and a change in Pacific-Antarctic relative motion. The Pliocene deformation in California and the Juan de Fuca rotations led them to postulate a 5-Myr age for the change. The manner and timing of the change are explored more thoroughly here, and we put the time for the change in motion of the Pacific plate at between 5 and 3.2 Myr, basing the younger limit on the correlation of computed hotspot tracks with Pacific and Nazca hotspot traces. The change may explain several observations on the neighbouring continental and oceanic plate boundaries, including direct adjustments at the Pacific spreading ridges. A likely mechanism for the change is a large clockwise torque caused by acceleration of the sinking slab beneath the Kurile trench, where a fossil spreading ridge is inferred to have been subducted. [R.K.H.]
Subjects:Cenozoic; Hot spots; Movement; Nazca Plate; Neogene; Pacific Plate; Plate boundaries; Plate tectonics; Pliocene; Tectonophysics; Tertiary; Caroline Islands; Micronesia; Oceania; Pacific Ocean; Polynesia; Changes; South Polynesian Pacific
Abstract Numbers:86M/5396
Record ID:1986071318
Copyright Information:GeoRef, Copyright 2019 American Geosciences Institute. Reference includes data from U. S. Geological Survey, Hawaiian Volcano Observatory, United States
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