The West Pacific Seamount Province (WPSP) represents a series of short-lived Cretaceous hotspot tracks. However, no intraplate volcanoes in advance of petit-spot volcanism erupted near a trench have been identified after the formation of the WPSP on the western Pacific Plate. This study reports new ages for Paleogene volcanic edifices within the northern WPSP, specifically the Ogasawara Plateau and related ridges, and Minamitorishima Island. These Paleogene ages are the first reported for basaltic rocks on western Pacific seamounts, in an area that has previously only yielded Cretaceous ages. The newly found Paleogene volcanisms overprint the Early–middle Cretaceous volcanic edifices, because the seamount or paleo-island material-covered reefal limestone caps on these edifices are uniformly older than the Paleogene volcanism identified in this study. This study outlines several possible causative factors for the Paleogene volcanism overprinting onto existing Cretaceous seamounts, including volcanism related to lithospheric stress, or a younger hotspot track within the northern part of the WPSP that records magmatism from ~60 Ma.
- Pacific plate
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