An abyssal hills area of 50 ?? 60 km in the northeast Pacific was studied using bottom transponder navigation, closely spaced survey lines, and long-traverse oblique photography. The block-faulted north-south hills are bounded by scarps, commonly with 40?? slopes. On these steep scarps sedimentation is inhibited and pillow basalts often crop out. An ash layer of high acoustic reflectivity at about 7 m subbottom depth blankets the area. This ash occurs in multiple beds altered to phillipsite and is highly consolidated. A 24 m.y. age for the ash is based on ichthyolith dates from samples in the overlying sediments. Acoustically transparent Neogene sediments above the ash are thickest in trough bottoms and are absent or thin on steep slopes. These Neogene sediments are composed of pale-brown pelagic clays of illite, quartz, smectite, chlorite and kaolinite. Dark-brown pelagic clays, rich in smectite and amorphous iron oxides, underlie the Neogene surficial sediments. Manganese nodules cover the bottom in varying percentages. The nodules are most abundant near basement outcrops and where the subbottom ash layer is absent. ?? 1984.
Additional publication details
Observations on Cretaceous abyssal hills in the northeast Pacific