Large aseismic rises and plateaus in the western Pacific include the Ontong-Java Plateau, Magellan Rise, Shatsky Rise, Mid-Pacific Mountains, and Hess Rise. These are relatively old features that rise above surrounding sea floors as bathymetric highs. Thick sequences of carbonate sediments overlie, what are believed to be, Upper Jurassic and Lower Cretaceous volcanic pedestals. We discuss here petrological and tectonic implications of data from volcanic rocks cored on Hess Rise. The data suggest that Hess Rise originated at a spreading centre in the late early Cretaceous (Aptian-Albian stages). Subsequent off-ridge volcanism in the late Albian-early Cenomanian stages built a large archipelago of oceanic islands and seamounts composed, at least in part, of alkalic rocks. The volcanic platform subsided during its northward passage through the mid-Cretaceousequatorial zone. Faulting and uplift, and possibly volcanism, occurred in the latest Cretaceous (Campanian-Maastrichtian stages). Since then, Hess Rise continued its northward movement and subsidence. Volcanic rocks from holes drilled on Hess Rise during IPOD Leg 62 (Fig. 1) are briefly described here and we relate the petrological data to the origin and evolution of that rise. These are the first volcanic rocks reported from Hess Rise. ?? 1980 Nature Publishing Group.