Oceanography The Official Magazine of
The Oceanography Society
Volume 20 Issue 01

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Volume 20, No. 1
Pages 102 - 115


Ridge-Hotspot Interactions: What Mid-Ocean Ridges Tell Us About Deep Earth Processes

Jérôme Dyment Jian LinEdward T. Baker
First Paragraph

Earth is a thermal engine that dissipates its internal heat primarily through convection. The buoyant rise of hot material transports heat to the surface from the deep interior while colder material sinks at subduction zones. Mid-ocean ridges and hotspots are major expressions of heat dissipation at Earth’s surface, as evidenced by their abundant volcanic activity. Ridges and hotspots, however, could differ significantly in their origins. Ridges are linear features that wind more than 60,000 km around the globe, constituting the major diverging boundaries of Earth’s tectonic plates. Hotspots, on the other hand, are localized regions of abnormally robust magmatism and distinctive geochemical anomalies (Figure 1).


Dyment, J., J. Lin, and E.T. Baker. 2007. Ridge-hotspot interactions: What mid-ocean ridges tell us about deep Earth processes. Oceanography 20(1):102–115, https://doi.org/10.5670/oceanog.2007.84.

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