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The lack of high heatflow values at hotspots has been interpreted as showing that the mechanism forming the associated swells is not reheating of the lower half of oceanic lithosphere. Alternatively, it has recently been proposed that the hotspot surface heatflow signature is obscured by fluid circulation. We re-examine closely spaced heatflow measurements near the Hawaii, Réunion, Crozet, Cape Verde, and Bermuda hotspots. We conclude that hydrothermal circulation may redistribute heat near the swell axes, but it does not mask a large and spatially broad heatflow anomaly. There may, however, be heatflow perturbations associated with the cooling of igneous intrusions emplaced during hotspot formation. Although such effects may raise heatflow at a few sites, the small heatflow anomalies indicate that the mechanisms producing hotspots do not significantly perturb the thermal state of the lithosphere.

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