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A considerable portion of the abyssal floor of the western North Pacific was already receiving pelagic sediment in late Jurassic time. Carbonate sediments were later replaced by abyssal clays as the basin deepened and bottom waters became more aggressive. The resulting facies boundary, which can be recognized on seismic profiles, is broadly transgressive; it ranges in age from mid-Cretaceous in the western Pacific to Oligocene in the central Pacific. Cherts are encountered at and below the major facies boundary and appear to have been formed by postdepositional processes.