Contradictory hypotheses on the origin of the Caroline Basin suggested that an attempt be made to arrive at a reasonable synthesis of basin origin. This thesis attempts such a synthesis. The principal conclusions reached are that the Caroline Basin formed by a complex sea-floor spreading mechanism in Tertiary time behind a southward advancing island arc. Mantle plume development in the eastern basin during this time may have formed the Eauripik Rise through blockage of westward axial mantle flow at a transform dam. Non-uniform cessation of spreading began in Upper Oligocene, together with the obduction of the southern portion of the ancestral ridge onto New Guinea, with concurrent northward subduction of basin crust at the southern base of the remnant northern ancestral ridge. An extensional trough opened in the northern ridge and expanded until collision with the eastward advancing Yap-Palau arc in Upper Miocene.
Thesis (M.S.) University of Alaska Fairbanks, 1981
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