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Published 2005 | public
Book Section - Chapter

Global hotspot maps


This chapter provides a catalog and maps of those volcanic, tectonic, and geochemical features that have become known as "hotspots," including those that may have a shallow plate tectonic or asthenospheric origin. Many proposed hotspots, including isolated structures and the active portions, or inferred ends, of seamount chains, do not have significant swells, substantial magmatic output, or tomographic anomalies. A hotspot catalog, as opposed to a volcano catalog, is therefore subjective. Recent lists of those purported to be underlain by deep mantle plumes disagree strongly. A melting anomaly, or hotspot, may result from localized high absolute mantle temperature or from a localized fertile or fusible patch of the asthenosphere. Some have been called "wetspots," and some have been called "hotlines." The localization may be due to lithospheric stress or architecture. The common characteristics of features designated as hotspots suggest an underlying common cause. This chapter provides references and brief evaluations of individual features and mechanisms that can be used to evaluate the origins of hotspots. Discussions of individual hotspots, volcanic chains, and tomographic results are given in three appendixes.

Additional Information

© 2005 Geological Society of America. Manuscript accepted by the Society January 3, 2005. We thank Gill Foulger, Jim Natland, Warren Hamilton, Seth Stein, and Jerry Winterer for stimulating conversations on issues related to this paper. We thank Donna Jurdy for a very useful review and for providing her historic hotspot lists. Contribution 9093, Caltech, Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences, Pasadena, California 91125, USA.

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August 19, 2023
January 13, 2024