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Reconstruction of the Pacific plate: Constraints from ocean floor and eastern China

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  • Corresponding author: weidongsun@qdio.ac.cn (W. S.) 
    1. The drift direction of the Pacific plate has changed many times.

      Magnetic anomalies show rotations of the Pacific and the Izanagi plates.

      The Ontong Java mantle plume induced rotation of the Pacific Ocean.

      The drifting history of the Pacific plate agrees well with the geological records of eastern China.

  • Magnetic anomalies show that the Pacific plate rotated counterclockwise by ~50°, induced by the eruption of the Ontong Java Plateau at ~125 Ma. Meanwhile, the drifting direction of the Pacific plate also changed from southwestward (~265°) to northwestward (~300°). The rotation promoted the destruction of the North China Craton (NCC) and induced slab rollback, which was responsible for the Cretaceous large-scale magmatism and mineralization in eastern China. Correspondingly, the orientation of the spreading ridge between the Pacific and Izanagi plates has also changed, which was originally towards ~290° before 125 Ma. Such a configuration is consistent with Late Mesozoic geologic events in eastern China. The spatiotemporal distribution of magmatic rocks and ore deposits suggests that the Pacific plate began to subduct southwestward underneath southeastern China in the Early Jurassic (≥175 Ma), and reached the Nanling Mountains. In contrast, the Izanagi Plate was still connected to the NCC before ~170 Ma. Its northwestward drift before/during subduction initiation resulted in compression that wedged the NCC into the East Asian continent and resulted in fold belts in three directions in weak zones surrounding the NCC and strike-slip faults along the south and the north margins (known as Event A of the Yanshanian Movement [165-170 Ma]). This is followed by extension during slab rollback. The Izanagi plate rotated clockwise by ~50° between 149.35 Ma and 140.42 Ma, which was coincident with commencement of Event B of the Yanshanian Movement, both of which resulted from the collision between a micro-continent on the Izanagi plate and eastern China.
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  • Cite this article:

    Sun W. and Li S. (2023). Reconstruction of the Pacific plate: Constraints from ocean floor and eastern China. The Innovation Geoscience 1(1), 100013. https://doi.org/10.59717/j.xinn-geo.2023.100013
    Sun W. and Li S. (2023). Reconstruction of the Pacific plate: Constraints from ocean floor and eastern China. The Innovation Geoscience 1(1), 100013. https://doi.org/10.59717/j.xinn-geo.2023.100013

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