Samoa Hotspot

The Samoa hotspot is a volcanic hotspot located in the south Pacific Ocean. The hotspot model describes a hot upwelling plume of magma through the Earth's crust as an explanation of how volcanic islands are formed. The hotspot idea came from J. Tuzo Wilson in 1963 based on the Hawai'i volcanic island chain.

In theory, the Samoa hotspot is based on the Pacific Tectonic Plate traveling over a fixed hotspot located deep underneath the Samoan Islands. The Samoa hotspot includes the Samoan Islands (American Samoa and Samoa), and extends to the islands of Uvea or Wallis Island (Wallis and Futuna) and Niulakita (Tuvalu), as well as the submerged Pasco banks.

As the Pacific Plate moves slowly over the hotspot, thermal activity builds up and is released in magma plume spewing through the Earth's crust, forming each island in a chain. The Samoa islands generally lie in a straight line, east to west, in the same direction of the tectonic plate 'drifting' over the hotspot.

A characteristic of a “classic” hotspot, like the Hawaii hotspot, results in islands located further from the hotspot being progressively older with newer and younger islands closest to the fixed hotspot, like the Loihi Seamount, the only submarine volcano which has been studied in detail by scientists. The scientific research from Loihi has resulted in a 'Hawai'i' model for hotspots primarily limited to the information gathered from the Hawai'i islands.

However, the Samoa hotspot is currently an enigma for scientists. In the Samoa Islands, the eastern most island of Ta'u and the western most island of Savai'i have both erupted in the past 150 years. The most recent eruption on Sava'i occurred with Mount Matavanu (1905–1911) and on Ta'u in 1866.

Read more about Samoa HotspotVailulu'u

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Samoa Hotspot - Vailulu'u
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... model for the formation of the volcanic Samoa island chain is explained by the Samoa hotspot situated at the east end of the Samoa Islands ... In theory, the Samoa hotspot is a result of the Pacific Tectonic Plate moving over a 'fixed' deep and narrow mantle plume spewing up through the Earth's ... The Samoa islands generally lie in a straight line, east to west, in the same direction the Plate is moving ...
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... A possible model for the formation of the volcanic Samoa island chain is explained by the Samoa hotspot situated at the east end of the Samoa Islands ... In theory, the Samoa hotspot is a result of the Pacific Tectonic Plate moving over a 'fixed' deep and narrow mantle plume spewing up through the Earth's crust ... The Samoa islands generally lie in a straight line, east to west, in the same direction the Plate is moving ...