ERN Item Type:
- Classroom Activities
Traditional geologic maps — sometimes crisscrossed with lines, blotted with colors, and marked with strike and dip symbols — have been used to depict the geologic makeup of the Earth for many years. New technologies such as satellite-enabled remote sensing are allowing geoscientists to create and use maps of greater richness and complexity than ever before. The chain of islands that makes up Hawaii was caused by a hot spot, an area where hot magma rose, broke through Earth’s crust, and formed volcanoes, at first below the ocean surface. Exposed rock cooled under water, forming seamounts, or underwater mountains. As volcanism continued, the seamounts emerged from the water and continued rising, forming islands. Volcanic islands like Kauai are different in many ways from the volcanoes that occur at tectonic plate boundaries in the Earth’s crust. In this activity, you will explore how volcanism has shaped the ecosystem of Kauai — and how volcanism varies across the country.