Iceland Hotspot - Theories of Causation - Mantle Plume Theory

Mantle Plume Theory

It is believed that a mantle plume underlies Iceland, of which the hotspot is thought to be the surface expression. This enhances the volcanism already caused by plate separation, both at the centre of the island and at the Reykjanes ridge to the southwest of Iceland's main volcanic zone. The plume is believed to be quite narrow, perhaps 100 km across, and extends down to at least 400–650 km beneath the Earth's surface, and possibly down to the core-mantle boundary.

Studies suggest that the hotspot is only 50-100 K hotter than its surroundings, which may not be a great enough difference to drive a buoyant plume.

It is suggested that the lack of a time-progressive track is because the plume may have been located beneath the thick Greenland craton for a significant time.

Read more about this topic:  Iceland Hotspot, Theories of Causation

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