Topographic Develpment & The Hot Spot
handout 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.

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Handout Sample:
Answer the following questions:

1. What is the Continental Divide? How is it related to the Yellowstone Hot Spot?
2. Approximately when did the Snake River Plain begin to develop? Where was the Hot Spot?
3. About how fast is the Hot Spot migrating? In what direction?
4. What tectonic plate is moving over the Hot Spot? In what direction?

Related Lesson Topics:
Geology: Geology

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