Hot Spot Case Study - Hawaii

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Hot Spots - (Hawaii)

There are two theories as to why hot spots occur, the first being that an intensive amount of radioactivity creates a huge plume of magma that rises the the surface.

The second is that the plate is weaker because of previous collisions and stretching.

Hot spots are a good example of continental drift, because the plume of magma does not change position, showing that the crust must move over the top of it.

Hawaii lies in the Pacific Ocean. There are only 3 active volcanoes at the moment in Hawaii

  • Mauna Loa
  • Kilauea
  • Loihi

There are many other volcanoes, but these are the only active ones (Kohala, Mauna Kea)

Further northwest from the main islands is the Seamount Emporer chain, these are older islands, eroded by the sea.

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