Lesson 14: Continental Hotspots

This week we'll again explore parklands shaped by hotspot volcanism. This time, however, we'll look at what happens when the mantle plume ascends beneath continental rather than oceanic lithosphere. Linear chains of volcanoes that are older away from the hotspot are found in both settings, but partial melting of "granitic" continental crust means that explosive caldera-forming eruptions of rhyolite magmas are major components of continental hotspot systems. We'll also look at the hydrothermal features (hot springs, geysers, etc.) that develop in continental regions where shallow magma bodies interact with groundwater. Finally, this week we'll begin working on the outlines of our second articles which also focus on hotspot volcanism.

As you read through this chapter and the supporting websites please take careful notes so that you can keep track of major points and recall them more easily when we refer to them later in the semester. Be sure that you are prepared to meet the learning objectives outlined below before you move on to the quiz at the bottom of the page.

Weekly Learning Objectives

Upon successful completion of this week's lesson, a student is expected to be able to:

Reading and Browsing Assignment

Exercise 14 (Due by 9:00 AM on Monday, 26-Apr-2010)

This week's exercise is to complete the third of our four writing assignments. To review the assignment click on the "Documents" link on the left side of this page, scroll down, and click on "Writing Assignment" near the bottom of the page. This week we'll be completing steps one and two and you'll be turning in the outline of the article you choose from the first set.

Quiz 14 (Due by 9:00 AM on Monday, 26-Apr-2010)

After you feel you have mastered the learning outcomes outlined above, please complete Quiz 14 in the Etudes "Assignments, Tasks and Tests" tool. There are ten questions, each worth one point. If you can answer all of them correctly it means that you know your way around the geology of continental hotspots pretty well and are ready to move on to learn about parklands formed in the oldest part of North America—the North American craton—next week.