Tasmantid hotspot

The Tasmantid hotspot is a volcanic hotspot located in the South Pacific Ocean. Due to plate tectonics the hotspot was under different parts of the seabed in the past. It was initially centered under what is now the southern Coral Sea 60 million years ago where the first Tasmantid volcano was created. As the Indo-Australian Plate continued to drift northwards the hotspot was positioned in the northern Tasman Sea 20 million years ago, eventually reaching its current location east of Tasmania in response to ongoing northward plate motion.[1]

The northward movement of the Indo-Australian Plate over the last 60 million years coupled with volcanism of the Tasmantid hotspot has resulted in a north-south line of submarine volcanoes called the Tasmantid Seamount Chain.[1] This includes over 10 seamounts, the youngest of which is the seven million year old Gascoyne Seamount.[1][2] The Tasmantid hotspot is now 400 km (250 mi) south of Gascoyne Seamount and is defined by a prominent zone of seismic activity.[1]

The Tasmantid hotspot may have created the Louisiade Plateau, a supposed large igneous province at the northern end of the Tasmantid Seamount Chain.[3]

Tasmantid hotspot
The Tasmantid hotspot is marked 39 on map
RegionSouth Pacific Ocean
Coordinates40°14′S 155°18′E / 40.24°S 155.30°ECoordinates: 40°14′S 155°18′E / 40.24°S 155.30°E


  1. ^ a b c d Johnson, R. W.; Knutson, J.; Taylor, S. R. (1989). Intraplate Volcanism: In Eastern Australia and New Zealand. Australian Academy of Science. p. 52. ISBN 0-521-38083-9.
  2. ^ W. J. Morgan and J. P. Morgan. "Plate velocities in hotspot reference frame: electronic supplement" (PDF). Retrieved 2017-02-24.
  3. ^ Kalnins, L. M.; Cohen, B. E.; Fitton, J. G.; Mark, D. F.; Richards, F. D.; Barfod, D. N. (2015). "The East Australian, Tasmantid, and Lord Howe Volcanic Chains: Possible mechanisms behind a trio of hotspot trails". American Geophysical Union.
Geology of the Pacific Ocean

The Pacific Ocean evolved in the Mesozoic from the Panthalassic Ocean, which had formed when Rodinia rifted apart around 750 Ma. The first ocean floor which is part of the current Pacific Plate began 160 Ma to the west of the central Pacific and subsequently developed into the largest oceanic plate on Earth.The tectonic plates continue to move today. The slowest spreading ridge is the Gakkel Ridge on the Arctic Ocean floor, which spreads at less than 2.5 cm/year (1 in/year), while the fastest, the East Pacific Rise near Easter Island, has a spreading rate of over 15 cm/year (6 in/year).

Hotspot (geology)

In geology, the places known as hotspots or hot spots are volcanic regions thought to be fed by underlying mantle that is anomalously hot compared with the surrounding mantle. Their position on the Earth's surface is independent of tectonic plate boundaries. There are two hypotheses that attempt to explain their origins. One suggests that hotspots are due to mantle plumes that rise as thermal diapirs from the core–mantle boundary. The other hypothesis is that lithospheric extension permits the passive rising of melt from shallow depths. This hypothesis considers the term "hotspot" to be a misnomer, asserting that the mantle source beneath them is, in fact, not anomalously hot at all. Well-known examples include the Hawaii, Iceland and Yellowstone hotspots.

Louisiade Plateau

The Louisiade Plateau is a poorly studied oceanic plateau in the northern Coral Sea of the South Pacific Ocean. It has been described as a continental fragment that rifted away from the northwestern continental margin of Australia but its position at the northern end of the Tasmantid Seamount Chain also suggests that the Louisiade Plateau might be a large igneous province formed by the arrival of the Tasmantid hotspot.


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