Hawaiian-Emperor Seamount Chain

Ocean drilling program Leg 197 to the Emperor Seamounts recovered basement core from Detroit, Nintoku, and Koko Seamounts.  The goal of this drilling leg was to ascertain if the Hawaiian hotspot had moved over time.  Paleolatitude determinations using paleomagnetic data showed quite a southerly shift in the hotspot during the formation of the Emperor Seamounts and that this motion may have slowed considerably around about the time of the "bend" and the beginning of the Hawaiian chain.  This suggests that a chnage in plate motion was not responsible for the "dog leg" in this seamount chain. Geochemical research currently underway is looking at the evolution of Nintoku Seamount, possible geochemical signatures of the Earth's outer core along the Hawaiian-Emperor chain, and using plagioclase crystal stratigraphy to document magma evolution.

Papers resulting from this research:

Shafer J., Neal C.R., Regelous M., and Gudding J. Geochemistry and petrogenesis of alkalic post-shield lavas from Nintoku Seamount, a 56 Ma Hawaiian volcano. Geochem., Geophys., Geosystems (in prep.).

Tarduno J.A., Duncan R.A., Scholl D.W., Cottrell R.D., Steinberger B., Thordarson T., Kerr B.C., Neal C.R., Frey F.A., Torii M., Carvallo C., and Doubrovine P. (2003) The Emperor Seamounts: Southward motion of the Hawaiian hotspot plume in Earth’s mantle.  Science 301, 1064-1069.