Hot Spots

Topics: Plate tectonics, Earth, Volcano Pages: 1 (340 words) Published: August 30, 2008
Hot Spots
During the 1960’s when plate tectonics were coming together, it explained the many new things and exposed many other magnificent ideas. This new scientific theory explained a number of mysteries like the movements of continents, form of the ocean floor, mountain chains, volcanoes, earthquakes, and how ancient life was sorted over time. Determining the behavior of the Earth’s crust, from plate tectonics, it made it easier for Geologist to focus more on the strange things that happen below the Earth’s surface. Many of the hotspots around the world were apparent to the first theorists. When the theorists sketched the crustal plates on the globe, they saw the world's volcanoes fall into line along the plate edges. This made the theorists even more motivated in the way the volcanoes and hotspots worked. If we take a look at the Hawaiian Islands, the big island has three active volcanoes. Away from this end, the islands get older and smaller, and beyond the last island marches a long train of undersea mountains. All of the mountains underwater are even older than the ones about the ocean. With plate tectonics, the island chain was seen to be the product of a single "hot spot" fixed in the mantle, punching one volcano after another through the crust as it moves overhead. Just what hotspots are and what they mean is a hot subject. Hotspots formed at specific times in the Earth’s history. Then again some of the hotspots are dead. And some of the other hotspots can be traced as far back as the seafloor record takes us, around 150 million years or more beyond that. Scientists say that hotspots arise in the mantle, but explanations vary. Most scientists’ opinion on hotspots is a bottom-up scenario that hotspots boil upward from a deep-seated source of heat and the way plumes of smoke rise from a fire. The most recent research shows that Earth's center may be virtually as hot as the Sun's surface.
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