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Shimada Seamount is a large, young volcanic edifice in the east-central Pacific that is not associated with any active spreading center or known hot spot. The sediments on the abyssal plain surrounding Shimada Seamount consist of pelagic clay with ferromanganese micronodules and zeolites. The pelagic clay is mostly barren of microfossils except for a few occurrences of highly corroded specimens of Radiolaria and diatoms. Eolian terrigenous material is the dominant component of the pelagic clay to a depth of at least 8 m below sea floor, with minor contributions from volcanic debris and hydrothermal and hydrogenous sources. The average amount of basaltic debris is only 0.25%, but concentrations are as high as 10% in some samples. The average hydrothermal component (metalliferous sediment) is 8.8% with a maximum of about 13% at 7.5 m below sea floor in one core. The hydrogenous component, mostly as ferromanganese micronodules, averages 4.1% with a maximum of 5.6%. There is no calcareous biogenic debris and essentially no siliceous biogenic debris. In the past, a decrease in hydrothermal components through time may have been the result of a decrease in relative importance of hydrothermal influences, or an increase in the flux of terrigenous debris transported by the northeast trade winds. Because volcanic activity is still active on Shimada Seamount, or has been in the recent past, the observed increase in relative abundance of terrigenous components probably was the result of increased wind transport and not decreased hydrothermal activity. Shimada Seamount may be an important local source of metalliferous sediment in the eastern equatorial North Pacific, and may have been an even more important source in the past. ?? 1989.
Additional Publication Details
Influence of Shimada Seamount on sediment composition in the eastern tropical North Pacific