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Fundamentals of Physical Geography

2nd Edition
James Petersen
ISBN: 9781133606536

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BuyFindarrow_forward

Fundamentals of Physical Geography

2nd Edition
James Petersen
ISBN: 9781133606536
Textbook Problem

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FIGURE 10.32 Over the last few million years, a stationary zone of molten material in the mantle—a hot spot—has created each of the volcanic Hawaiian Islands in succession. Because they move to the northwest with the Pacific plate, the islands are progressively older toward the northwest (ages are in millions of years). The hot spot is currently located at the island of Hawaii, which is about 300 kilometers (185 mi) from Oahu.

Approximately how long did it take the Pacific plate to move Oahu to its present position?

To determine

The approximate number of years it took for the Pacific plate to move Oahu to its present position.

Explanation

Over the last few million years, a hotspot has produced each of the volcanic Hawaiian Islands in succession. The surface manifestation of mantle plumes is termed as hotspot. A hotspot is a place where lava rises up from the mantle and forms a volcano.

This builds a volcanic chain formed from the gradual movement of a tectonic plate across a fixed hotspot deep below the Earth’s surface such as Hawaiian Islands as well as undersea volcanoes and the chain of islands that extend for thousands of kilometers northwest of Hawaii.

The island of Hawaii and other islands in Hawaiian chain share a common magmatic origin (hotspot). Although the other islands of Hawaiian chain are formed from the same hotspot, they have currently drifted from their magmatic source along with the pacific plate...

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