Earth & Space Science
Students study the lithosphere, plates, and the theory of plate tectonics in order to understand why plates move.
After completing this tutorial, you will be able to complete the following:
The Hawaiian Islands formed over many millions of years as the Pacific plate moved over a stationary hot spot. Magma would spurt out of this stationary hot spot and eventually form an island. Approximately every 1 million years, the hot spot under Hawaii becomes active and makes another island. This island then moves as the Pacific plate moves. About 3 million years ago, O'ahu was over the hot spot. Today, Mauna Loa and Kilauea volcanoes on the island of Hawaii are over the hot spot.
The islands to the southeast of O'ahu are younger than O'ahu. These islands are Moloka'i, Lana'i, Maui, and Hawaii. The island of Hawaii, also known as the Big Island, is the youngest island in the Hawaiian Island chain. It is still over the hot spot. Below the ocean's surface, and to the southeast of the Big Island, is another volcano erupting over the hot spot. It is called Loihi. In about 6000 years, if it continues to grow, it might form another island.
|Approximate Time||25 Minutes|
|Pre-requisite Concepts||Students should be familiar with earthquakes, mountain belts, seamounts, and volcanoes.|
|Course||Earth & Space Science|
|Type of Tutorial||Concept Development|
|Key Vocabulary||3D, Aleutian Islands, boundary|