Antipodal hotspot pairs on the Earth

Michael R. Rampino, Ken Caldeira

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The results of statistical analyses performed on three published hotspot distributions suggest that significantly more hotspots occur as nearly antipodal pairs than is anticipated from a random distribution, or from their association with geoid highs and divergent plate margins. The observed number of antipodal hotspot pairs depends on the maximum allowable deviation from exact antipodality. At a maximum deviation of ≤700 km, 26% to 37% of hotspots form antipodal pairs in the published lists examined here, significantly more than would be expected from the general hotspot distribution. Two possible mechanisms that might create such a distribution include: (1) symmetry in the generation of mantle plumes, and (2) melting related to antipodal focusing of seismic energy from large‐body impacts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2011-2014
Number of pages4
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Issue number20
StatePublished - Oct 23 1992

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • General Earth and Planetary Sciences


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