The islands of Hawaii are located on the Earth’s Pacific tectonic plate above the ‘Hawaiian Hotspot.’ The hotspot is a volcanically active area in the Earth’s crust. Six million years ago, volcanic eruptions created the island of Kauai. The Earth’s tectonic plates are constantly moving at very slow rates. As the Pacific plate drifted, the island of Kauai was moved away from the hotspot. Then, another volcano formed and created the island of Oahu. The shape of the Hawaiian islands is a visual representation of the shift of the Pacific plate over the past several million years as each island was formed in turn.