The interplay of plume and plate tectonics is discussed with reference to well-documented late Paleozoic and Mesozoic–Cenozoic structures. The considered issues include models of lower mantle plumes; the typical case of the Hawaii plume; plate motions in the Pacific basin under the effect of plume activity and subduction processes; the role of plumes in the breakup of continents and rifting for the cases of the East African rifts and Gondwana breakup; large continental igneous provinces of Siberia and Tarim, with meimechites and kimberlites; and the formation of large granitic batholiths and related metallogeny. The study contains several points of novelty: integrated use of lower mantle seismic tomography and satellite altimetry data on gravity patterns; correlation of plume heat with plate velocities assuming that some plumes may dissolve in the asthenosphere; and correlation of rifting with compression and extension zones.

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