Hotspotting: Principles and properties of a plate tectonic Hough transform
Article first published online: 9 AUG 2008
Copyright 2008 by the American Geophysical Union.
Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems
Volume 9, Issue 8, August 2008
How to Cite
2008), Hotspotting: Principles and properties of a plate tectonic Hough transform, Geochem. Geophys. Geosyst., 9, Q08004, doi:10.1029/2008GC002058.(
- Issue published online: 9 AUG 2008
- Article first published online: 9 AUG 2008
- Manuscript Accepted: 27 JUN 2008
- Manuscript Revised: 22 JUN 2008
- Manuscript Received: 14 APR 2008
- plate tectonics
“Hotspotting” is a geometric technique used to assess the self-consistency of absolute plate motion models under the assumption of fixed hot spots. Geometric data constraints (typically seamount locations) and the plate motion model are used to determine the optimal locations of hot spots; in a self-consistent model these should match the assigned hot spot locations. While self-consistency is a desirable model attribute, it is not sufficient by itself to guarantee a geologically meaningful model. Hotspotting is the study of seafloor flow lines and may be considered a pattern recognition algorithm similar to the Hough transform. Flow line analysis can yield insight into the importance of particular geometric constraints and yield age predictions for undated features. Hotspotting cannot easily be used to derive improved rotation parameters but instead is used in concert with methods that determine plate motions to ensure the aforementioned self-consistency.