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Plate tectonic theory accounts for the vast majority of volcanic islands in ocean basins. They form above mantle plume hot spots (Hawaiian and Galapagos Islands), subduction zones (Aleutian and Indonesian arcs), and mid-ocean ridges (Azores and Ascension Island). Iceland is unusual because it is located above a hot spot and the mid-Atlantic ridge. Each plate tectonic setting produces chemically distinctive magmas, and the lifespan of volcanic islands varies widely. Islands above hot spots may be geographically remote and emergent for only several million years, but be part of a long-lived sequence of islands that persists for over a hundred million years. In contrast, island arc volcanoes belong to long geographically continuous chains of volcanoes, commonly in close proximity to continents. This tutorial explores the geologic evolution and lifespan of volcanic islands from formation to submergence, and searches for correlations between these characteristics and plate tectonic setting. We will also consider how geographic isolation, areal extent, lifespan, and climate affect biological evolution on volcanic islands.There will be weekly tutorial meetings with pairs of students, and students will alternate writing papers on assigned topics. This course is in the Solid Earth group for the Geosciences major.
Format: tutorial; Remote, one-hour weekly meetings with tutorial partner and instructor
Grading: no pass/fail option,
no fifth course option
five 5-page papers and critiques of partner's papers
100-level GEOS course or permission of instructor
Geosciences majors and students with a demonstrated interest in geosciences
This course is cross-listed and the prefixes carry the following divisional credit:
Students will write five 5-page papers and will receive instructor feedback on how to improve their writing skills and formulate sound arguments.
ENVI Natural World Electives
GEOS Group C Electives - Solid Earth