Essay about Hawaiian Volcanoes

2099 Words 9 Pages
I. Summary

This paper will provide information on the volcanoes of Hawaii, where it is known to be the home of one of the world’s largest volcanic islands, merely second to Iceland. It is not just the beautiful landscapes and wildlife that spark the interest to this particular area, but the uniqueness of the Hawaiian volcanoes and islands themselves are what make the area so significant. There will be information spanning from the history of the origin of the islands to how Hawaii must adjust to the volcanic hazards in order to keep the area livable. With these ideas in mind, I will first address background information on the area and set the scene as to what makes this area so special. Then I will transition to the history of how the
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Essentially, the key fact that makes the islands of Hawaii so unique and worthy of studying is that nearly the entire mountain range is built entirely by volcanic activity and each island is the top of an enormous volcanic mountain. These exceptional qualities fuel the study of how the islands themselves were created, in order to answer the curiosities behind the composition of some of the most extravagant volcanoes in the world.
III. History of the Hawaiian Islands
The basic theory of plate tectonics says that all volcanic activity should occur between lithosphere plates (Physical Geology). However, the Hawaiian Islands bend this rule by being located directly in the middle of the Pacific plate. The Hawaiian volcanoes are known as intraplate volcanoes. This may not seem possible because it disrupts the rule of plate tectonics, but there’s the exception of a hot spot. T. Wilson suggested that the Pacific plate moved in the northwestward direction over a melting spot deep within the mantle, and this hot spot remained relatively stationary and supplied magma to the moving Pacific plate to form the Hawaiian Island chain (Volcanoes in the Sea). In order to prove this suggestion, the structure of the Hawaiian Islands must be in line with a hot spot origin. This will be…