Volcanoes Island Chain Hypothesis-Distance and Elevation

Volcanoes Island Chain Hypothesis-Distance and Elevation

Lab report about Volcanoes Island Chain Hypothesis.

Do the islands appear to be the same age, or are they older at one end of the chain or another? Explain what evidence supports your conclusion.

The islands do not seem to be the same age. Some of the islands at one end of the chain seem to be of different ages mainly because some of these islands still have active volcanoes. These islands with active volcanoes are newer. Other islands at other end of the chain mainly the Northwestern islands appear to be older because they have inactive volcanoes and these islands have less evidence of volcanic rocks.


Where are new volcanoes forming?

In the southeast of the island with the world’s most active volcanoes in Loihi Seamount, new volcanoes are farming. New volcanoes are formed under the water which then forms new islands that become part of Hawaii.


What is the direction of the plate and how does this compare to the trend in direction of the island chain?

The direction of the plate is moving west and it seems that the newer forming islands that have active volcanoes are in the east.


Based on these observations and what you have learned in the lessons, develop a hypothesis about how the Hawaiian Island chain is forming.

My hypothesis is, I believe the Hawaiian Islands are forming under the water. These islands then expand and rise above water. Because of underwater volcanoes the islands are forming towards the northwest.


Plot distance vs. radioactive age, then draw a trend line that shows the general interpretation of the data points. Note: Drawing a trend line does not mean you connect the dots. A trend line is a line that shows your interpretation of the general trend of the data.

Volcanoes Island Chain Hypothesis-Distance and Elevation
Distance Vs Age Plot

Plot distance vs. elevation, then draw a trend line that shows the general interpretation of the data points. Drawing a trend line does not mean you connect the dots. A trend line is a line that shows your interpretation of the general trend of the data.

Volcanoes Island Chain Hypothesis-Distance and Elevation
Distance V Elevation Plot

Look at the distance vs. elevation plot. Describe the relationship between distance and elevation and explain how it supports or does not support your hypothesis.

With the increasing elevation, the distance from Kilauea decreases. The most active volcano on the chain is Kilauea. As we move farther away from this volcano, the elevation of other volcanoes become lower because of inactivity and erosion it appears. Therefore this support my hypothesis.


Look at the distance vs. age plot. Describe the relationship between age and distance and explain how it supports or does not support your hypothesis.

As we go further away from Kilauea, the age of volcano increases.  Therefore this data supports my hypothesis because we can see from the data that the older volcanoes are away from Kilauea in the western side of Hawaii farther. These volcanoes are older because these are less active.


Restate your hypothesis. If it is the same, make sure you include how the data supports your explanation.

The Hawaii islands seem to be of different ages. Some of the islands are newer because they have active volcanoes while the Northwestern islands appear to be older because they have inactive volcanoes and less evidence of volcanic rocks. I think the older islands are formed as the Pacific Plate moved over the hot spot lava flowed over several million years until the islands were formed. Under the water, active volcanoes are forming new islands which then rise and form new islands. These new volcanoes are forming in Loihi Seamount in the southeast of the island with the most active volcanoes in the world.


The radioactive dates represent years of research from different teams. If radioactive dating was not reliable, would the data show a trend or would you expect the points to be random?

If we assume the radioactive dating to be true then the data would show a trend, if not then we would expect it to be random. I believe best thing to do is to also utilize other available dating methods. Like isotope calculations to support or disprove radioactive dates. We assume since rock formation, rate of radioactive decay has been constant and also known. The big issue with this assumption is that we do not have any way to prove that the decay rate has been constant in the past.


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