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The Open University [GB]
Tutor-marked assignment … X
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a. An oceanic plate contains a row of extinct submarine volcanoes (seamounts) spaced at various distances from a currently
active volcano. Assuming that this chain of volcanoes and seamounts represent a hot spot track, explain in words how the
chain has formed. You do not need to draw any diagrams. (Guideline: up to 120 words.)
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b. The ages of the seamounts and their distances from the active volcano, measured along the chain are given in Table 2.
► Week 0
► Week 1
i. Plot these data by hand on graph paper, plotting the age on the vertical axis and draw a best-fit line through your
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► Week 4
You should submit your hand-drawn graph as part of your assignment.
► Week 9
See ‘Guidelines for producing an electronic version of a hand-drawn graph’ for advice. A computer-generated graph is
not acceptable for this assignment. If you have difficulty producing a graph by hand please contact your tutor for advice.
ii. Calculate the gradient of your best-fit line and use this to calculate the average speed of the plate. Show your
calculation in full and give your final answer in units of kilometres per million years (km Ma-1) to two significant figures.
iii. Convert your answer to millimetres per year (mm y-1).
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Remember to show all your workings when you present any calculation.
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Table 2 Age and distances of extinct seamounts from an active volcano.
Seamount Distance from active volcano /km Age/Ma
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