Dying Pacific Hot Spot



A team of scientists at the Hawaii Institute of Geophysics report that they have evidence for a new hot spot in the Pacific Ocean. Their discovery was described by Barbara H. Keating at AGU's Spring Meeting in Baltimore late last month. The predicted hot spot, located in the Caroline Islands, halfway between Hawaii and Japan, is the first to show evidence of waning, Keating said.

Hot spots are sources of hot rock that may come from the earth's mantle, explained Keating, assistant professor of marine geology and paleomagnetics at the University of Hawaii. The hot rock melts through oceanic crust and forms a chain of volcanic islands and submarine volcanos. These volcanics show a strict age progression from oldest to youngest.