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Review Article: Geology and Volcanology of the Hawaiian Islands

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Title:Review Article: Geology and Volcanology of the Hawaiian Islands
Authors:Walker, Geprge P.L.
Date Issued:Oct 1990
Publisher:University of Hawaii Press
Citation:Walker GPL. 1990. Review article: geology and volcanology of the Hawaiian Islands. Pac Sci 44(4): 315-347.
Abstract:This article summarizes the present state of knowledge of the
geology of Hawaii. It tends to concentrate on aspects not usually covered by
review articles. Current ideas on hotspots and mantle plumes are applied to the
specific example of Hawaii, the eight volcanic systems currently nourished by
the hotspot are identified, and gross differences in magma-supply rate are related
to position of these systems on the hotspot. The important role played by level
of neutral buoyancy in distributing incoming magma between magma chambers,
rift zones, intrusions, and surface flows is discussed. This is important because
volcanic edifices may expand nearly as much by growth of subsurface intrusions
as by surface lava outpourings. Recent discoveries, however, show how strongly
volcano growth is countered by subsidence and major collapses. A brief description
is given of styles of volcanism in Hawaii, and recent ideas on how formation
of aa and pahoehoe depends on eruption discharge rate are discussed . A brief
summary description pointing to highlights of each volcano is then presented.
Finally, I indulge in speculations regarding geographical distribution of the
volcanoes and show how, by postulating that a considerable strike-slip motion
has occurred on two faults, a much more orderly arrangement of volcano and
rift-zone alignments appears, leading to a dynamic model of island-chain growth
that is simpler then current models. Proceeding from Kaua'i toward the southeast,
an alternating sequence of southeast and west-southwest alignments is
revealed. These alignments may be related, respectively, to fractures propagated
against the plate motion direction (because of extensional stresses resulting from
diverging flow in the mantle plume) and along faults of the Moloka'i fracture
Appears in Collections: Pacific Science Volume 44, Number 4, 1990

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