In geology, a hotspot or hot spot is a portion of the Earth's surface which experiences volcanism. This may be caused by a rising mantle plume or some other cause. Hotspots may be far from tectonic plate boundaries.
A volcanic hotspot is where lava pushes up from under the mantle and creates a volcano. The earth's plates move along and another volcano is created later. This creates a chain of volcanoes, such as in Hawaii.
J. Tuzo Wilson suggested in 1963 that volcanic chains like the Hawaiian Islands result from the slow movement of a tectonic plate across a fixed hot spot deep beneath the surface of the planet. Hotspots are thought to be caused by a narrow stream of hot mantle convecting up from the Earth's core–mantle boundary called a mantle plume, although some geologists prefer upper-mantle convection as a cause.
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