Student Question

Calculate the rate of the Pacific Plate's motion in cm per year for the island sequence Kauai to Oahu. Can you show me the steps.

Note that one kilometer is the same as 100,000 cm.

Island Sequences

Separation Distance

Average Difference

a. Kauai to Oahu

181 km

2,100,000 years

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

I assume that the data in your assumes it would take 2.1 x 10^6 years for the Pacific Plate to move the 181 km distance from Kauai to Oahu.  If so, then:

1 km = 100,000 cm = 10^5 cm

181 km = 18,100,000 cm = 1.81 x 10^7 cm

1.81 x 10^7 cm / 2.1 x 10^6 years = .8619 x 10^1

which rounds up to 8.62 cm / year.

See eNotes Ad-Free

Start your 48-hour free trial to get access to more than 30,000 additional guides and more than 350,000 Homework Help questions answered by our experts.

Get 48 Hours Free Access
Approved by eNotes Editorial