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Q: Hawaiian Islands and volcanic activity ( No Answer,   4 Comments )
Subject: Hawaiian Islands and volcanic activity
Category: Science > Earth Sciences
Asked by: timespacette-ga
List Price: $5.00
Posted: 29 Dec 2005 14:02 PST
Expires: 28 Jan 2006 14:02 PST
Question ID: 611045
Which of all the Hawaiian Islands are least likely to erupt?  Which are most?
There is no answer at this time.

Subject: Re: Hawaiian Islands and volcanic activity
From: pinkfreud-ga on 29 Dec 2005 14:13 PST
Kilauea, on the "Big Island" of Hawaii, is said to be the world's most
active volcano. The volcanos on Oahu have not erupted for millions of

These links may be of interest:
Subject: Re: Hawaiian Islands and volcanic activity
From: markvmd-ga on 29 Dec 2005 19:11 PST
The reason the western Hawaiian volcanoes don't erupt is because they
aren't connected anymore. There is essentially one (or a small and
very close group) of vent(s) that the Pacific plate is moving westward
over. The vent is in the same place but the islands move off and wear
away. As they aren't plumbed in anymore, they can't erupt.
Subject: Re: Hawaiian Islands and volcanic activity
From: timespacette-ga on 03 Jan 2006 13:33 PST
I had no idea.  Does this mean Kilauea will soon no longer be
erupting?  (in geological time, I mean)
Subject: Re: Hawaiian Islands and volcanic activity
From: hfshaw-ga on 03 Jan 2006 14:28 PST
As others have commented, the Hawaii-Emperor seamount chain is thought
to have been formed by the motion over time of the Pacific tectonic
plate over a relatively fixed "hotspot" of upwellling magma.  The
oldest islands, which are now extinct volcanos, are those at the
northwest end of the chain, while the youngest, are at the southeast
end of the chain.  Currently, the hotspot is under the Big Island,
which is composed of 5 separate volcanos:  Kilauea, Mauna Loa, Mauna
Kea, Hualalai, and Kohala.  Kilauea, on the southeast side is the
youngest and most active of the volvanic centers that are above water.
 The youngest volcano in the chain, Lo'ihi is actually still
underwater.  It lies to the southeast of Kilauea, and should emerge
about the water in several hundred thousand years.

I will second pinkfreud's suggestion to check out the Univ of Hawaii's
excellent webpages at: and

A good map of the Hawaiian chain is at

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