What Is a Volcanic Hot Spot?


Quick Answer

A volcanic hotspot is an area in the earth’s mantle in which thermal plumes provide the necessary heat and magma for volcanic activity over a long period, explains the U.S. Geological Service. These hotspots are the basis for the creation of land, including the Hawaiian Islands.

Continue Reading
Related Videos

Full Answer

Volcanic hotspots have massive areas from which magma spews from the crust. Scientists believe that the heat from the hotspot melts the tectonic plates enough to move landmasses away from the hotspot after its formation. This allows volcanoes to create more landmasses over millions of years.

Scientists know of at least 100 hotspots within the more recent geological history of the earth, but many of the hotspots are no longer active. One active remnant of a hotspot is in Yellowstone National Park, which provides the energy for the geysers and other activity in the area.

Learn more about Volcanoes

Related Questions