The Hot Spot Hypothesis -Topographic Develpment
activity exercisesuggested grade levels: 9-12

view Idaho achievement standards for this lesson

If the Yellowstone hot spot truly has migrated eastward over the last 17 Ma, it will have left a distinct trail of topography and volcanic rocks in its wake. In the case of Yellowstone National Park, the hot spot currently defines the Continental Divide. This may or may not have been true for the entire track of the hot spot from NW Nevada to NW Wyoming.

Use what you know to come up with at least three lines of evidence that support the theory that the hot spot passed along the proposed course to its current position at Yellowstone (for example, the hot spot would be located in an area of high topography, and though there may be thick sediment accumulations in that area, drainage should occur radially away from it).
HINT: As the hot spot passes, the elevated volcanic plateau it created subsides, and through-going drainage systems may have been established in its wake.

Related Lesson Topics:
Geology: Geology

Lesson Plan provided by Vita Taube, 2000
Idaho Achievement Standards (as of 7/2001) met by completing this activity: