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Pacific Plate Velocity

Derived from the SERC activity Hotspot Lesson: Hotspot Theory and Plate Velocities external arrow. Retrieved on 24 Dec 2014. Also reference The Formation of the Hawaiian Islands external arrow

  1. On graph paper plot the "Best K-Ar age" (X-axis)   vs.   "Distance from Kilauea" (Y-axis).
  2. As best you can fit a straight line to the data points.
  3. On the back of the graph paper, find the slope of the line (m = ΔY/ΔX) Note the units are km/mya. Use UDRSS to show your work.
  4. Use dimensional analysis to convert the units from km/Mya to cm/yr. Use UDRSS to show your work.
Volcano Number Volcano Name Distance from Kilauea along chain (km)
(Y-axis)
Best K-Ar age (Mya)
(X axis)
1 Kilauea 0 0
3 Mauna Kea 54 0.375
5 Kohala 100 0.43
6 Haleakala 182 0.75
7 Kahoolawe 185 1.03
8 West Maui 221 1.32
9 Lanai 226 1.28
10 East Molokai 256 1.76
11 West Molokai 280 1.9
12 Koolau 339 2.6
13 Wainae 374 3.7
14 Kauai 519 5.1
17 Nihoa 780 7.2
23 Necker 1058 10.3
27 Brooks Bank 1256 13
37 Northampton Bank 1841 26.6
65 Colohan 3128 38.6
67 Daikakuji 3493 42.4
69 Yuryaku 3520 43.4
74 Southern Koko 3758 48.1
81 Ojin 4102 55.2
86 Nintoku 4452 56.2
90 Southern Suiko 4794 59.6
91 Central Suiko 4860 64.7