ES0904  Observe an animation of volcanic islands forming over a hot spot.

This animation simulates the formation of the islands of Hawaii in the Pacific Ocean. Lithosphere of the Pacific plate is moving to the northwest over a hot spot deep within Earth's mantle. Plumes of magma rise up through the lithosphere over the hot spot. The magma erupts onto the seafloor and accumulates to form volcanic islands. When the plate moves, recently formed volcanic islands are carried off the hot spot and a new portion of the lithosphere is positioned over it.

  !   Click the image to see the animation. Drag the slider bar or use the step buttons to examine the labels.
Jennifer Loomis, TERC