What are the stages of growth of an oceanic hotspot volcano?
This animation shows the evolution of a single island in a hotspot chain as it forms and evolves over a period of about 40 million years. It includes the initial eruption from the sea floor, construction of an enormous edifice, and final migration from the hotspot and erosion to form an atoll. Although it is on the WNW-moving Pacific plate, the plate motion won't be shown.
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- Emergent volcano builds on ocean floor
- Shield building stage while over the hotspot
- Moves away from hotspot and enters declining phase of erosion and cooling
- A rejuvenation phase can occur long after leaving hotspot