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H a w a i`i . G e o l o g y . & . N a t u r a l . H i s t o r y


Halema’uma’u Crater from north rim of Kilauea Caldera (1991)

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What's New?

Halema`uma`u caldera: additional photos and map, Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park
Moloka`i Ctenophora: recent research

Recent Research

So where do plumes come from?  Recent work suggests the outer core.

Hand, Eric (2015), Mantle plumes seen rising from Earth's core. Science 349, 1032-1033. doi:10.1126/science.349.6252.1032

French, Scott W., Romanowicz, Barbara (2015), Broad plumes rooted at the base of the Earth's mantle beneath major hotspotsNature 525, 95-99. doi: 10.1038/nature14876

The 2014–2015 Pāhoa lava flow:

Poland, Michael et al (2016), The 2014–2015 Pāhoa lava flow crisis at Kīlauea Volcano, Hawai‘i: Disaster avoided and lessons learned. GSA Today 26, 4-10. doi:10.1130/GSATG262A.1

Are more felsic magmas
the result of fractionation or assimilation?  Are granites what's left after more mantle-like components crystallize and sink or are they formed by the addition of crustal country rock as the melt ascends?  Recent papers suggest
fractionation may be the dominant process.
Kemner, F., Haase, K. M., Beier, C., Krumm, S. and Brandl, P. A. (2015), Formation of andesite melts and Ca-rich plagioclase in the submarine Monowai Volcanic System, Kermadec Arc. Geochem. Geophys. Geosyst.. Accepted Author Manuscript. doi:10.1002/2015GC005884
The cultural fight over Mauna Kea accelerates observatory closures.
Witze, A. (2015), Hawaii prunes Mauna Kea telescope hubNature 522, 15–16. doi:10.1038/522015a

Somewhere on the Pacific Plate . . .

The main Hawaiian Islands are about 2500 miles southwest of San Diego. They are the newest additions to the Hawaiian Ridge, a line of mostly extinct submarine volcanoes on the northern Pacific Plate. The plate moves upwards of 3˝ inches per year, on average, to the northwest. Not concidentally, this movement follows the trend of the Hawaiian Ridge.

So what are a bunch of islands doing in the middle of the Pacific Plate? Ah, funny you should ask ...


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Updated 30 December 2016