The Geo RoomGeomorphology

Definition of the Day
Atmospheric Instability
A condition in the atmosphere where air parcels are heated and therefore are warmer than the surrounding atmosphere resulting in unstable weather conditions such as heavy rains and hailstorms. See Atmospheric Stability & Instability

Volcanic Hotspot

Hotspot of Hawaii diagramHawaiian Hotspot
Hotspots are intense hot areas where a mantle plume from the earth's core rises to the surface. The mantle plume stretches down to the core of the earth, thus the plume is constantly supplied with magma and does not dry out. The magma can spread out near the surface forming a dome shaped diapir which can pierce strata. The mantle plume is immobile and stays there as the plate move. Hotspots can be found on both continental or oceanic plates forming some interior volcanoes (away from active plate boundaries) such as Tibesti Mt in central Sahara or Mauna Loa in Hawaii respectively. Some major hotspots include the Yellowstone Hotspot in Wyoming/ Montana, west USA and the Hawaiian Hotspot in the midst of the Pacific ocean. The Hawaiian volcanic islands were formed by a mantle plume which punched through successive areas along the Pacific Ocean as it moves above the hotspot. This has created a chain of islands on the surface See below.

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