It is noted that different physicists and geologists have in recent years espoused not less than four groups of theories of the physical behavior of the Earth’s interior. Recent observations of submarine geology, heat, and rock magnetism have tended to support some form of continental drift rather than the older concept of a rigid earth.The Hawaiian Islands are one of seven, parallel, linear chains of islands and seamounts in the Pacific Ocean of Tertiary to Recent age. Their nature had previously been explained in terms of a series of volcanoes along parallel faults. Horizontal shear motion along these faults was supposed to be extending them southeasterly.The inadequacies of this explanation are pointed out. If there are convection currents in the Pacific region and if the upper parts of these cells move faster than the central parts, sources of lava within the slower moving cores could give rise to linear chains of progressively older volcanic piles such as the Hawaiian Islands. This view is shown to be compatible with seismic observations and age determinations.

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