Plate Tectonics Exercise
1. Based on the track of the Hawaiian hot spot, how fast
and in what direction is the Pacific Plate moving?
2. Assuming the rate of plate motion in the past was the same as today, calculate how long ago the Atlantic Ocean
began to form. First, measure the width of the ocean at lines A-A’ and B-B’ using the map scale given. Round your
answers to the nearest 100 km. Then use the rate at which the plates are moving (shown on the map near each line)
to calculate how much time has elapsed. Show all of your work.
3. Look at Figure 12.13 in your text book (page 273) or the class slide set for a map of ocean crust ages. Compare
the ages of the oldest ocean crust in the Atlantic to your age estimate from question 2. How comparable are the two
values? What are the implications for the rate of Atlantic sea floor spreading over time?