Hot Spot That Spawned Hawaii Was on the Move, Study Says

A recent discovery that the so-called “fixed” hot spot, which created the Hawaiian Islands, actually drifted southward between 81 and 47 million years ago is causing geologists to revise their descriptions of the interior workings of the Earth.

The findings stem from analysis of ancient lava flows found on four seamounts, or undersea mountains, in the Pacific Ocean. Rock samples from the seamounts were gathered during a two-month expedition to the Pacific Ocean in 2001. The project was co-led by John Tarduno, a researcher at the University of Rochester in New York.