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Limited latitudinal mantle plume motion for the Louisville hotspot

Koppers, Anthony A.P.; Yamazaki, Toshitsugu; Geldmacher, Jörg; Gee, Jeffrey S.; Pressling, Nicola; Hoshi, Hiroyuki; Anderson, L.; Beier, C.; Buchs, D. M.; Chen, L. H.; Cohen, B. E.; Deschamps, F.; Dorais, M. J.; Ebuna, D.; Ehmann, S.; Fitton, J. G.; Fulton, P. M.; Ganbat, E.; Hamelin, C.; Hanyu, T.; Kalnins, L.; Kell, J.; MacHida, S.; Mahoney, J. J.; Moriya, K.; Nichols, A. R.L.; Rausch, S.; Sano, S. I.; Sylvan, J. B.; Williams, R.


Anthony A.P. Koppers

Toshitsugu Yamazaki

Jörg Geldmacher

Jeffrey S. Gee

Nicola Pressling

Hiroyuki Hoshi

L. Anderson

C. Beier

D. M. Buchs

L. H. Chen

B. E. Cohen

F. Deschamps

M. J. Dorais

D. Ebuna

S. Ehmann

J. G. Fitton

P. M. Fulton

E. Ganbat

C. Hamelin

T. Hanyu

L. Kalnins

J. Kell

S. MacHida

J. J. Mahoney

K. Moriya

A. R.L. Nichols

S. Rausch

S. I. Sano

J. B. Sylvan


Hotspots that form above upwelling plumes of hot material from the deep mantle typically leave narrow trails of volcanic seamounts as a tectonic plate moves over their location. These seamount trails are excellent recorders of Earth's deep processes and allow us to untangle ancient mantle plume motions. During ascent it is likely that mantle plumes are pushed away from their vertical upwelling trajectories by mantle convection forces. It has been proposed that a large-scale lateral displacement, termed the mantle wind, existed in the Pacific between about 80 and 50 million years ago, and shifted the Hawaiian mantle plume southwards by about 15° of latitude. Here we use 40Ar/39Ar age dating and palaeomagnetic inclination data from four seamounts associated with the Louisville hotspot in the South Pacific Ocean to show that this hotspot has been relatively stable in terms of its location. Specifically, the Louisville hotspot-the southern hemisphere counterpart of Hawai'i-has remained within 3-5° of its present-day latitude of about 51° S between 70 and 50 million years ago. Although we cannot exclude a more significant southward motion before that time, we suggest that the Louisville and Hawaiian hotspots are moving independently, and not as part of a large-scale mantle wind in the Pacific.


Koppers, A. A., Yamazaki, T., Geldmacher, J., Gee, J. S., Pressling, N., Hoshi, H., …Williams, R. (2012). Limited latitudinal mantle plume motion for the Louisville hotspot. Nature Geoscience, 5(12), 911-917.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Oct 20, 2012
Online Publication Date Nov 25, 2012
Publication Date Dec 1, 2012
Deposit Date Nov 13, 2014
Journal Nature Geoscience
Print ISSN 1752-0894
Electronic ISSN 1752-0908
Publisher Nature Publishing Group
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 5
Issue 12
Pages 911-917
Keywords General Earth and Planetary Sciences
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