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This is an IELTS writing task 1 sample answer essay on the topic of a volcanic island chain from the real IELTS exam.

It is an extremely strange topic so I thought I’d give it a try to help out some students who asked me about it!

Find all the most recent task 1 topics here and my full IELTS Ebooks here.

Dave

IELTS Essay: Volcanic Island Chain in Hawaii

The presented diagram details an island chain in Hawaii located in the Pacific Ocean. Looking from an overall perspective, it is readily apparent that volcanic formation begins deep under the Earth’s mantle and is visibly the result of multiple eruptions over the years.

Considering first of all the deepest layer buried in solid dense rock (2883 km down), there are vast repositories of magma in a central ‘hot spot’ where spume remains static. The magma spume then rises in a narrow channel and the shifting (7-9cm a year) Pacific tectonic plate to reach the surface and create the least mature volcanoes through multiple eruptions.

The diagram also contains information about Hawaii more specifically including that the oldest volcano was formed 80,000,000 years ago and the major islands include Niihau, Kauai, Oahu, Molokai, Lanai, Hahoolawa, Maui, and, the largest, Hawaii.

Analysis

1. The presented diagram details an island chain in Hawaii located in the Pacific Ocean. 2. Looking from an overall perspective, it is readily apparent that volcanic formation begins deep under the Earth’s mantle and is visibly the result of multiple eruptions over the years.

  1. Paraphrase the overall essay topic.
  2. Write a general over for the process. Include the major changes and group them generally.

1. Considering first of all the deepest layer buried in solid dense rock (2883 km down), there are vast repositories of magma in a central ‘hot spot’ where spume remains static. 2. The magma spume then rises in a narrow channel and the shifting (7-9cm a year) Pacific tectonic plate to reach the surface and create the least mature volcanoes through multiple eruptions.

  1. Begin to describe the diagram fully – for this one just follow the formation of the volcanoes.
  2. Be sure to detail everything fully.

1. The diagram also contains information about Hawaii more specifically including that the oldest volcano was formed 80,000,000 years ago and the major islands include Niihau, Kauai, Oahu, Molokai, Lanai, Hahoolawa, Maui, and, the largest, Hawaii.

  1. Don’t include any opinion and don’t forget any areas in the diagram.

  1. Try to keep it to 3 paragraphs but if there is an extra detail that is better in another paragraph, that is fine!

Vocabulary

What do the words in bold below mean? Take some notes on a piece of paper to aid your memory:

The presented diagram details an island chain in Hawaii located in the Pacific Ocean. Looking from an overall perspective, it is readily apparent that volcanic formation begins deep under the Earth’s mantle and is visibly the result of multiple eruptions over the years.

Considering first of all the deepest layer buried in solid dense rock (2883 km down), there are vast repositories of magma in a central ‘hot spot’ where spume remains static. The magma spume then rises in a narrow channel and the shifting (7-9cm a year) Pacific tectonic plate to reach the surface and create the least mature volcanoes through multiple eruptions.

The diagram also contains information about Hawaii more specifically including that the oldest volcano was formed 80,000,000 years ago and the major islands include Niihau, Kauai, Oahu, Molokai, Lanai, Hahoolawa, Maui, and, the largest, Hawaii.

Answers

Try to write down or think of an antonym/opposite word for further practice:

presented shown

details describes

island chain group of islands

Hawaii an island state in the United States

located found in

Pacific Ocean water between China and the United States

Looking from an overall perspective, it is readily apparent that overall

formation creation

deep under the Earth’s mantle far inside the world

visibly can be seen

result of because of

multiple eruptions over the years many times the volcano exploded

considering first of all looking initially at

deepest layer fruther down

buried in covered deep in

solid dense rock very hard rock/stone

vast repositories of magma lots of lava

central in the middle

spume a foamy initial form of magma/lava

static unchanging

magma spume before it become lava

then next

rises comes up

narrow channel small passageway

shifting moving

Pacific tectonic plate the discs under the Earth that slide and create earthquakes and eruptions

reach the surface comes to the top

least mature youngest

multiple eruptions exploding many times

contains information gives details about

specifically in specific

major main

largest biggest

Pronunciation

Practice saying the words below using this tip with Google voice dictation:

prɪˈzɛntɪd 
ˈdiːteɪlz 
ˈaɪlənd ʧeɪn 
həˈwaɪiː 
ləʊˈkeɪtɪd 
pəˈsɪfɪk ˈəʊʃən
ˈlʊkɪŋ frɒm ən ˈəʊvərɔːl pəˈspɛktɪvɪt ɪz ˈrɛdɪli əˈpærənt ðæt 
fɔːˈmeɪʃən 
diːp ˈʌndə ði ɜːθs ˈmæntl 
ˈvɪzəbli 
rɪˈzʌlt ɒv 
ˈmʌltɪpl ɪˈrʌpʃənz ˈəʊvə ðə jɪəz
kənˈsɪdərɪŋ fɜːst ɒv ɔːl 
ˈdiːpɪst ˈleɪə 
ˈbɛrid ɪn 
ˈsɒlɪd dɛns rɒk 
vɑːst rɪˈpɒzɪtəriz ɒv ˈmægmə
ˈsɛntrəl 
spjuːm 
ˈstætɪk
ˈmægmə spjuːm 
ðɛn 
ˈraɪzɪz 
ˈnærəʊ ˈʧænl 
ˈʃɪftɪŋ 
pəˈsɪfɪk tɛkˈtɒnɪk pleɪt 
riːʧ ðə ˈsɜːfɪs 
liːst məˈtjʊə 
ˈmʌltɪpl ɪˈrʌpʃənz
kənˈteɪnz ˌɪnfəˈmeɪʃən 
spəˈsɪfɪk(ə)li 
ˈmeɪʤə 
ˈlɑːʤɪst

Vocabulary Practice

Remember and fill in the blanks. Note it on a piece of paper so you can remember better:

The p_____________d diagram d_________s an i_________________n in H_________i l_________d in the P____________n. L_______________________________________________t volcanic f____________n begins d_____________________________________e and is v_______y the r__________________________s o_________________s.

C_______________________l the d______________r b_____________n s___________________k (2883 km down), there are v____________________________a in a c__________l ‘hot spot’ where s________e remains s________c. The m____________e t____n r_______s in a n_______________l and the s___________g (7-9cm a year) P___________________e to r__________________e and create the l_______________e volcanoes through m___________________s.

The diagram also c_________________n about Hawaii more s_____________y including that the oldest volcano was formed 80,000,000 years ago and the m_______r islands include Niihau, Kauai, Oahu, Molokai, Lanai, Hahoolawa, Maui, and, the l_______t, Hawaii.

Listening Practice

Listen to the related topic below and practice with these activities:

Reading Practice

Read more and use these ideas to practice:

Explainer: Is a Volcano in Hawaii going to Erupt Again?

Speaking Practice

Practice with the following related questions from the real IELTS speaking exam:

Picnics

  1. Did you go on picnics when you were a kid?
  2. Do you still go on picnics now?
  3. Do you like eating outside?
  4. Where do people usually go for picnics?

Writing Practice

Practice with the strange task 1 below and then check with my sample answer:

IELTS Essay Task 1: Bridges

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