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EXERCISE 2.12
Long-Term Movement of the Pacific Plate (continued)
Name:
Section:
Course:
Date:
(c) Based on the age data on the bathymetric map, in what azimuth direction did the Pacific Plate move originally?
(d) How far has the Meiji seamount moved from the hot spot? Explain your reasoning.
(e) At what rate has the Pacific Plate moved?
based on data from the Hawaii-Midway segment?
km per million years
. based on data from the Hawaii-Kimei segment?.
km per million years
. based on data from the Kimei-Meiji segment?
km per million years
(f) Has the Meiji seamount moved at a constant rate? Explain your reasoning.
(g) In what direction is the Pacific Plate moving today? Explain your reasoning.
He Quartz, calera
(h) Assuming that the current direction of motion continues, what will be the eventual fate of the Meiji seamount?
Explain in as much detail as possible.
2.6 Active versus Passive Continental Margins
Earthquakes and volcanic eruptions are common on the west coast of North America,
but there are no active volcanoes on the east coast, and earthquakes there are rare.
Geologists call the west coast a (tectonically) active continental margin and the east
coast a passive continental margin. These differences can be found on several con-

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EXERCISE 2.12
Long-Term Movement of the Pacific Plate
Name:
Section:
Course:
Date:
The oldest volcano of the Hawaiian-Emperor seamount chain was once directly above the hot spot, but is now in the
northern Pacific, thousands of kilometers away (see the figure below). Seamount ages show that the hot spot has been
active for a long time and reveal the direction and rate at which the Pacific Plate has moved.
(a) What evidence is there that the Pacific Plate has not always moved in the same direction?
(b) How many years ago did the Pacific Plate change direction? Explain your reasoning.
Bathymetry of the Pacific Ocean floor, showing ages of volcanoes in the Hawaiian-Emperor seamount chain.
iji seamount
(71.4 Ma)
Nintoku seamount
(56.5 Ma)
Kimei seamount
(40 Ma)
Midway Island
28.3 Ma)
Hawaii
(less than 1 Ma)
600 1
km
(continued)
2.5 PROCESSES AT PLATE BOUNDARIES REVEALED BY EARTH FEATURES
49

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