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   About this site

The debate about whether plumes exist or not, and what other mechanisms could cause melting anomalies became widespread in late 2002 and early 2003, as observations conflicting with the plume hypothesis, or unexpectedly failing to confirm it, reached proportions that could no longer be ignored. Journalists began to take notice and write popular articles about the controversy. However, there was almost nothing on the world wide web about the subject. Thus, was born in March 2003.

Since then many scientists have contributed, and many web pages on specific topics have been placed online. The growing site resides on a server at Durham University, U.K. It is managed and maintained by Gillian R. Foulger. A deputy website manager, appointed on a two-year basis, assists decision-making processes, and we consult with the large group of colleagues who have contributed pages. was redesigned professionally in August 2004 by Zak Akin (

The objective of the website is to foster debate about the origin of melting anomalies and “hot spots”, and to make readily available information, ideas and theories that bear on this problem. Information relevant to the debate concerning whether plumes underlie particular areas, or exist at all, is also included.

Suggestions are welcomed for further material for the website that would be of use to scientists interested in this field. Additional contributed webpages on specific topics or field areas are also welcomed. Email notification of new contributions is sent out at approximately 6-weekly intervals, and we will be happy to add you to the mailing list if you wish.

We hope you will also consider contributing, and becoming involved in this field.

Deputy Website Managers:
Alexander Peace October 2019 – September 2021
Hidehisa Mashima October 2017 – September 2019
Yaoling Niu October 2015 – September 2017
Andy Moore October 2013 – September 2015
Michele Lustrino October 2011 – September 2013
Jolante van Wijk October 2009 – September 2011
Romain Meyer October 2007 – September 2009
Alexei Ivanov October 2005 – September 2007
Hetu Sheth October 2003 – September 2005

Gillian R. Foulger
University of Durham,
updated 5th January, 2020