A new software package for use in “hotspotting” has been released and is available without charge to help clarify the method and stimulate plate motion research. Hotspotting was introduced by Wessel and Kroenke [1997a] as a new geometric technique and immediately generated much interest [e.g., Schneider, 1997; Stein, 1997].
The method involves drawing crustal flowlines back in time from seamount locations. Because seamount ages are not used, one can include all available seamounts. If hotspots are stationary, if the stage rotations are accurate, and if the seamounts were indeed formed at hotspots, then these flowlines will intersect at the hotspot locations.