News From the Field
Hawaiian Hotspot Has Deep Roots
December 3, 2009
A classic explanation for oceanic hotspots such as Hawaii has been that they originate from upwellings of hot rock, called mantle "plumes," deep in the Earth's mantle. Evidence for these deep structures has been sketchy, however. Now, a sophisticated array of seismometers deployed on the seafloor around Hawaii has provided the first high-resolution seismic images of a mantle plume extending to depths of at least 1,500 kilometers (932 miles).
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