Paleolatitude of the Hawaiian Hot Spot Since 48 Ma: Evidence for a Mid‐Cenozoic True Polar Stillstand Followed by Late Cenozoic True Polar Wander Coincident With Northern Hemisphere Glaciation
Gordon, Richard G.
Paleospin axis locations since 48 Ma inferred from the distribution of equatorial sediment accumulation rates on the Pacific plate, together with paleomagnetic poles from magnetic anomaly skewness, indicate that the Hawaiian hot spot was nearly fixed in latitude from 48 to 12 Ma, but ≈3° north of its current latitude. From 48 to 12 Ma in the Pacific hot spot reference frame, which we take to be equivalent to the global hot spot reference frame, the spin axis was located near 87°N, 164°E, recording a stillstand in true polar wander. Global hot spots shifted coherently relative to the spin axis since ≈12 Ma, consistent with an episode of true polar wander, which may continue today. The motion of the spin axis away from the Hawaiian hot spot and toward Greenland since ≈12 Ma coincided with, and may have contributed to, the onset of northern hemisphere glaciation.