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Detailed Description

This is a map of the earth. The thick dashed line shows the ridge formed by the Hawaiian hot spot during the last 80 million years. The arrows show the direction and rate of motion of selected plates relative to the hot spots. The plate boundaries are shown by the lines of medium weight, and the "Pacific ring of fire" plate boundaries by heavier lines. The dots mark the youngest islands of some hot spot island chains. Can you name the island groups? The answers can be found at the end of this "Volcano Watch" column.