Thursday, December 3, 2009

Hawaiian Hot Spot Has Deep Roots

Volcanoes have been one of the most destructive elements on this earth. They have also been one of the elements that have had the greatest effect on transforming the face of this earth. Scientists are constantly looking to study them and figure out how they work. A group of scientists have now found evidence that lends a lot evidence and credibility to a theory that has been circulating for a very long time. The majority of the world's volcanoes exist on or near the edges of the tectonic plates that cover our earth. Here the magma can seep out and create the pressure and explosive force that volcanoes have. However, there is another type of volcano that scientists have been baffled by. This is the type of volcano that created the Hawaiian Islands. This volcano is called a mantle plume volcano and it occurs when the magma plumes up beneath the plate, in the middle of the plate. It then seeps out and creates the island as the magma seeps out and cools over previous seeps. The scientists on this team used seismic sensors to image a large plume that exists under the large island known as Hawaii. The plume took 2 years to image as the seismic activity was not as strong as it is at the plates edges.

This article provides up-to-date information for a unit we typically teach towards the end of the third quarter. We study volcanic activity and how it changes the face of the earth. This article provides strong evidence for a theory we teach about how this type of volcano created the Hawaiian Islands.

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