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Mantle Plumes and Rifting

 

Hotspot, or mantle plume, volcanism is one of the major processes affecting the interior of the Earth. Mantle plumes may be the primary mechanism of heat loss for the Earth's core and are also one of the primary driving factors in plate movements. Plume heads are influential in forming and modifying plate boundaries, while plume tails and their surface tracks constitute major features of the Earth's lithosphere (e.g., Richards et al. 1989; Duncan 1991). The influence of mantle plumes, and the large lava accumulations that are associated with them, on continent formation and evolution constitutes a continuing theme of the science of continental dynamics (Hill et al. 1992).

 (by Donald J. DePaolo & Dominique Weis, 2005)