Hawaiʻi sits over a ‘hot spot,’ the Hawaiian hot spot. It’s one hot spot, but lots of volcanoes have formed over it. The Islands are above a moving sea floor of the North Pacific Ocean (the Pacific Ocean is mostly floored by a single tectonic plate known as the “Pacific Plate.”)
The plates move over the hot spot; it moves to the northwest. As the plate moves away, the volcano stops erupting and a new one is formed in its place. With time, the volcanoes keep drifting westward and getting older relative to the one active volcano that is over the hot spot.
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