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Plate Tectonics: The Hawaiian Archipelago

Plate Tectonics: The Hawaiian Archipelago

Since the Hawaiian Islands were all created by volcanic activity, it is somewhat surprising that only the island of Hawaii now possesses any active volcanoes. Why did the volcanoes that built the other islands stop erupting and why are those on the big island still active? This video segment, adapted from a NOVA television broadcast, shows how plumes of hot material rise from the Earth's interior to create 'hot spots' in the crust which are the locations of volcanic activity. Movement of the Pacific Plate causes volcanic islands to continually form, migrate away from the hot spot, and become extinct, forming chains of islands like the Hawaiian Islands. The segment is four minutes thirty-seven seconds in length.


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