As I mentioned earlier, it now seems well established that most, although certainly not all, intraplate volcanism is a consequence of mantle plumes rising from the deep mantle, just as Morgan (1971) proposed. Morgan suggested these mantle plumes were analogous to atmospheric convection cells that give rise to thunderstorms. Like air, hot mantle is buoyant and consequently rises in a more or less vertical column. The analogy can be taken one step further: just as rising air in a thunder cell eventually undergoes a phase change as water vapour partially condenses, rising mantle eventually undergoes a phase change and partially...

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