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Day 3 – Q 3. How does the formation of the Hawaiian Islands support plate tectonics theory? Discuss.

3. How does the formation of the Hawaiian Islands support plate tectonics theory? Discuss.

3. हवाई द्वीप समूह का निर्माण प्लेट टेक्टोनिक्स सिद्धांत का समर्थन कैसे करता है? चर्चा करें।


  • Give a brief introduction about Tectonic Theory.
  • Explain briefly the plate tectonics. Explain the formation of Hawaiian Islands with the help of hotspot theory.
  • Connect the two concepts to show the link.
  • Diagrams are necessary in such questions.


Plate Tectonic refers to a theory which states that the Earth’s crust is divided into many mobile plates which float over the asthenosphere. The theory has been put forth to explain the creation and destruction of landforms across the globe.


According to the theory, the plates are in constant mobility at very slow pace. The presence of fold mountains, oceanic ridges have been considered as the testimonial for this theory. The structure and formation of Hawaiian Islands itself is considered to be an evidence of plate tectonic theory.

The Hawaiian Islands are an archipelago of eight major islands, several atolls in the North Pacific Ocean. The islands are spread out from South Eastern to North Western direction.

The Islands have been formed due to hotspot volcanism. Hotspot vulcanism occurs when the unusually hot magma flows towards the surface of the lithosphere. Due to its high temperature, it creates pressure on the plate, which ultimately cracks leading to volcanic eruption. This process leads to the formation of volcanic mountains, which can under sustained pressure rise to great heights. A similar process occurred in the Pacific plate and led to the formation of Hawaiian Islands.

But as the above image shows the Hawaii is in the form of string of islands. Their age is gradually increasing from south eastern direction. Given the fact that, the region of hotspot remains constant, the only way such string of islands would have been formed is due to the movement of the plate above. This certifies the fact the Pacific plate has been moving and in the North Western direction.


Thus, the genesis, direction and age of the Hawaiian Islands prove that they were formed while the Pacific plate was moving. This movement confirms the plate tectonic theory which is central to many geological observations.

Best Answer: vipasha parul

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