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A Bend in the Pacific

15 November 2017

At https://phys.org/print429517702.html … Hawaii sits at the end of a chain of volcanoes running across the Pacific ocean floor. In the middle of this chain there is a sharp bend of 60 degrees – which geoscientists have struggled to explain, or so we are told in the press release. Research from the University of Oslo now suggest a collision event at the edge of the Pacific plate may be to blame. They arrived at this idea by sticking closely to the orthodox song sheet. The idea is that a hot mantle plume lies beneath Hawaii and as the plate has moved over time the volcanoes in the chain mark previous locations of the plume. Eventually the plume will move and extend the chain – beyond Hawaii. In such a scenario a bend in the chain is anomalous (see image below) and such a divergence requires a catastrophic event in order to switch direction. In this instance, two plates colliding – but what caused them to collide is the next question.



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