Evolution of and on Volcanic Islands
Division III; Writing-Intensive;
This is not the current course catalog
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.
The Class: Type: tutorial
Requirements/Evaluation: evaluation based on five written papers.
Extra Info: may not be taken on a pass/fail basis; not available for the fifth course option
Prerequisites: 100-level GEOS course or permission of instructor
Enrollment Preference: geosciences majors and students with a demonstrated interest in geosciences
Distributions: Division III; Writing-Intensive;