GEOGRAPHY IN THE NEWS:
Students who have taken my "Hands-On Geography" classes know that most of the world's volcanoes are located near the edges of tectonic plates (and why). Hawaii's volcanoes are an exception. They are "hot spot" volcanoes. Hot spots are created by magma plumes that, for reasons that are not well understood, penetrate the lithosphere and fuel volcanoes on the surface of the plate. As the tectonic plate moves, the stationary magma plume generates a chain of volcanoes and, if underwater, an archipelago of islands and seamounts. The hot spot that has been fueling the Hawaiian islands has been active at least 70 million years, creating islands from the Emperor seamounts near Russia's Kamchatka Peninsula to Hawaii's Big Island. As the Pacific plate continues to move west over the magma plume, the older islands (to the west) become volcanically dormant and newer islands form to the east. The newest Hawaiian island is forming underwater, off the southeast coast of the Big Island. geology.com/usgs/hawaiian-hot-spot/
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