Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Lava Fingerprinting Reveals Differences Between Hawaii's Twin Volcanoes

30.11.2011
Hawaii's main volcano chains--the Loa and Kea trends--have distinct sources of magma and unique plumbing systems connecting them to the Earth’s deep mantle, according to UBC research published this week in Nature Geoscience, in conjunction with researchers at the universities of Hawaii and Massachusetts.

This study is the first to conclusively relate geochemical differences in surface lava rocks from both chains to differences in their deep mantle sources, 2,800 kilometres below the Earth’s surface, at the core-mantle boundary.


Underwater action scene of robotic mechanical arm on the JASON2 submersible collecting a pillow lava sample from Mauna Loa volcano at 10,000 feet below sea level during 2002 expedition. Photo taken by camera on JASON2 Credit: M. Garcia and J.M. Rhodes).

"We now know that by studying oceanic island lavas we can approach the composition of the Earth's mantle, which represents 80 per cent of the Earth's volume and is obviously not directly accessible," says Dominique Weis, Canada Research Chair in the Geochemistry of the Earth’s Mantle and Director of UBC’s Pacific Centre for Isotopic and Geochemical Research.

"It also implies that mantle plumes indeed bring material from the deep mantle to the surface and are a crucial means of heat and material transport to the surface."

The results of this study also suggest that a recent dramatic increase in Hawaiian volcanism, as expressed by the existence of the Hawaiian islands and the giant Mauna Loa and Mauna Kea volcanoes (which are higher than Mount Everest when measured from their underwater base) is related to a shift in the composition and structure of the source region of the Hawaiian mantle plume. Thus, this work shows, for the first time, that the chemistry of hotspot lavas is a novel and elegant probe of deep earth evolution.

Weis and UBC colleagues Mark Jellinek and James Scoates made the connection by fingerprinting samples of Hawaiian island lavas--generated over the course of five million years--by isotopic analyses. The research included collecting 120 new samples from Mauna Loa--"the largest volcano on Earth" emphasizes co-author and University of Massachusetts professor Michael Rhodes.

"Hawaiian volcanoes are the best studied in the world and yet we are continuing to make fundamental discoveries about how they work," according to co-author and University of Hawaii volcanologist Michael Garcia.

The next steps for the researchers will be to study the entire length of the Hawaiian chain (which provides lava samples ranging in age from five to 42 million years old) as well as other key oceanic islands to assess if the two trends can be traced further back in time and to strengthen the relationship between lavas and the composition of the deep mantle.

Chris Balma | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.ubc.ca

More articles from Earth Sciences:

nachricht NASA sees quick development of Hurricane Dora
27.06.2017 | NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center

nachricht Collapse of the European ice sheet caused chaos
27.06.2017 | CAGE - Center for Arctic Gas Hydrate, Climate and Environment

All articles from Earth Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Can we see monkeys from space? Emerging technologies to map biodiversity

An international team of scientists has proposed a new multi-disciplinary approach in which an array of new technologies will allow us to map biodiversity and the risks that wildlife is facing at the scale of whole landscapes. The findings are published in Nature Ecology and Evolution. This international research is led by the Kunming Institute of Zoology from China, University of East Anglia, University of Leicester and the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research.

Using a combination of satellite and ground data, the team proposes that it is now possible to map biodiversity with an accuracy that has not been previously...

Im Focus: Climate satellite: Tracking methane with robust laser technology

Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.

Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...

Im Focus: How protons move through a fuel cell

Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.

As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...

Im Focus: A unique data centre for cosmological simulations

Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.

With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...

Im Focus: Scientists develop molecular thermometer for contactless measurement using infrared light

Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine

Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Plants are networkers

19.06.2017 | Event News

Digital Survival Training for Executives

13.06.2017 | Event News

Global Learning Council Summit 2017

13.06.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Touch Displays WAY-AX and WAY-DX by WayCon

27.06.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Drones that drive

27.06.2017 | Information Technology

Ultra-compact phase modulators based on graphene plasmons

27.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>