Mantle plumes and their interactions

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Bernhard Maximilian Steinberger, Alisha Brigitta Steinberger


Hotspots are regions of intraplate volcanism or especially strong volcanism along plate
boundaries, and many of them are likely caused by underlying mantle plumes – localized
hot upwellings from deep inside the Earth. It is still uncertain, whether all plumes or just
some of them rise from the lowermost mantle, and to what extent and where they
entrain chemically different materials. Also, large uncertainties exist regarding their size.
Some plumes (such as Hawaii) create linear hotspot tracks, as the plate moves over
them and can therefore serve as reference frames for plate motions, whereas others
(such as Iceland) show a more complicated distribution of volcanic rocks due to variable
lithosphere thickness and plume-ridge interaction. Plumes may also weaken plate
boundaries and hence influence plate motions. They may influence surface features such
as ice sheets, and therefore climate, but we are just beginning to study and understand
processes jointly involving solid earth, hydrosphere and atmosphere.



Physical Sciences and Mathematics


Plumes, hotspots, tomography, convection, thermochemical


Published: 2022-05-31 04:04

Last Updated: 2022-05-31 11:04


CC BY Attribution 4.0 International

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This is a review paper, so there are some online supplements with links provided in the paper, but no original data.

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