• Categories

  • Most Popular Questions

  • Recently Viewed Questions

  • Recent Answers

    InTheNameOfScience on How was the universe crea…
    Troy T on How did God come into exi…
    steve on How did God come into exi…
    Wyken Seagrave on How did God come into exi…
    badgerbull on How did God come into exi…
  • Blog Stats

    • 1,594,827 hits
  • Visitors since 11-3-08

    counter create hit
  • Terms and Conditions

  • Warning

    We are doing maintenance on this site, so some posts may disappear for a short time. Sorry. Normal service will soon be resumed...
  • Pages

  • March 2008
    M T W T F S S
    « Feb   Apr »
     12
    3456789
    10111213141516
    17181920212223
    24252627282930
    31  
  • Archives

  • Meta

Has Hawaii come from an underground volcano?

Has Hawaii come from an underground volcano? How long can a volcano erupt for?
Topaz Class from Oxfordshire (Aged 5-14)

About these ads

One Response

  1. Yes it has, but it is more interesting than that. The ‘Big Island’ of Hawaii has huge active volcanoes and sits on top of a hot spot in the Earth that is a long way below the surface. If you look at rocks that make up the Hawaiian islands that are to the west you find that they are solidified lavas, but there are no active volcanoes today. The lavas can be dated, and going westward along the Hawaiian island chain (look at an atlas) they get older and older.

    For this to have happened the upper part of the solid Earth (the crust ) must be moving slowly westwards, while the deeper part (the mantle) stays still. The hot spot source of the lavas that feed the volanoes on the Big Island is fixed in the mantle. As crust moves over the hot spot lavas build up on top of the crust until they form a volcano that breaks through the ocean surface – that is what’s happening at the Big Island now. But the movement of the crust slowly drags the island away from the hot spot, cutting off the lava supply and the island’s volcanoes become extinct. In the Hawaiian chain this has been going on for millions of years, so as well as the once volcanic islands stretching out to the west, there are drowned volcanoes in a line that extends even further west.

    If you dragged a piece of paper over a candle flame, you would get a very similar effect – a line of burn marks showing the path taken by the sheet of paper. The Hawaiian chain is one of the best pieces of evidence that shows that the outer Earth is continually moving relative to the deeper Earth underneath.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 31 other followers

%d bloggers like this: