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Yongtao Fu, Guoliang Zhang, Wanyin Wang, An Yang, Tao He, Zhangguo Zhou, Xiao Han. Identification of the Caroline Plate Boundary: Constraints from Magnetic Anomaly[J]. Acta Oceanologica Sinica. doi: 10.1007/s13131-023-2272-9
Citation: Yongtao Fu, Guoliang Zhang, Wanyin Wang, An Yang, Tao He, Zhangguo Zhou, Xiao Han. Identification of the Caroline Plate Boundary: Constraints from Magnetic Anomaly[J]. Acta Oceanologica Sinica. doi: 10.1007/s13131-023-2272-9

Identification of the Caroline Plate Boundary: Constraints from Magnetic Anomaly

doi: 10.1007/s13131-023-2272-9
Funds:  ‘Open Fund of the Key Laboratory of Marine Geology and Environment’ from Chinese Academy of Sciences, under contract No. MGE2022KG11.
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  • The Caroline Plate is located among the Pacific Plate, the Philippine Sea Plate, and the India Australia Plate, and plays a key role in controlling the spreading direction of the Philippine Sea Plate. The Caroline Submarine Plateau (or Caroline Ridge) and the Eauripik Rise on the south formed a remarkable T-shaped large igneous rock province, which covered the northern boundary between the Caroline Plate and the Pacific Plate. However, relationship between these tectonic units and magma evolution remains unclear. Based on magnetic data from the Earth Magnetic Anomaly Grid (2-arc-minute resolution) (V2), the normalized vertical derivative of the total horizontal derivative (NVDR-THDR) technique was used to study the boundary of the Caroline Plate. Results show that the northern boundary is a transform fault that runs 1400 km long in approximately 28 km wide along the N8° in E-W direction. The eastern boundary is an NNW-SSE trending fault zone and subduction zone with a width of tens to hundreds of kilometers; and the north of N4° is a fracture zone of dense faults. The southeastern boundary may be the Lyra Trough. The area between the southwestern part of the Caroline Plate and the Ayu Trough is occupied by a wide shear zone up to 100 km wide in nearly S-N trending in general. The Eauripik transform fault (ETF) in the center of the Caroline Plate and the fault zones in the east and west basins are mostly semi-parallel sinistral NNW-SSE–trending faults, which together with the eastern boundary Mussau Trench sinistral fault, the northern Caroline transform fault, and the southern shear zone of the western boundary, indicates the sinistral characteristics of the Caroline Plate. The Caroline hotspot erupted in the Pacific Plate near the Caroline transform fault and formed the West Caroline Ridge, and then joined with the Caroline transform fault at the N8°. A large amount of magma erupted along the Caroline transform fault, by which the East Caroline Ridge was formed. At the same time, a large amount of magma developed southward via the eastern branch of the ETF, forming the northern segment of the Eauripik Rise. Therefore, the magmatic activity of the T-shaped large igneous province is obviously related to the fault structure of the boundary faults between the Caroline Plate and Pacific Plate, and the active faults within the Caroline Plate.
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