The swirl of malleable rock in the earths mantle – located between the earths crust and core – may have greater effect on the earths surface than was once believed, a Purdue research team reports.
Under the boundary between two crustal plates, zones in the mantle with different temperatures swirl together like storm fronts in the atmosphere. Over the millennia, these subterranean warm and cold fronts produce storms in the mantle that can move mountains up on the crust. (Image provided by Scott D. King)
Seen from below, a cold region (colored blue) is sandwiched between two warmer regions (yellow). Over millions of years, these subterranean "storms" can affect the motion of the crust and alter geographical features on the surface, as evidenced by the dramatic angle in the Hawaii-Emperor seamount chain. (Image provided by Scott D. King)
Using computer technology to create three-dimensional models of the earths mantle, Purdues Scott King has found evidence that some dramatic features of the earths surface could be the result of relatively rapid shifts in the direction in which crustal plates move. Rather than simply drifting along in straight lines over millions of years, plates can be pushed aside or even be made to reverse direction due to convection in the mantle far beneath them.
"This is not an idea that has been seriously considered before," said King, professor of earth and atmospheric sciences. "Up until this point, plates were thought to change direction more or less independently from the slow-moving mantle. But with the aid of better computer technology, now we are beginning to realize that they are interconnected. The third dimension is important – we have to consider the earths depths if we are ever to understand its surface."
Chad Boutin | Purdue News
Wandering greenhouse gas
16.03.2018 | Alfred-Wegener-Institut, Helmholtz-Zentrum für Polar- und Meeresforschung
Unique Insights into the Antarctic Ice Shelf System
14.03.2018 | Alfred-Wegener-Institut, Helmholtz-Zentrum für Polar- und Meeresforschung
Animal photoreceptors capture light with photopigments. Researchers from the University of Göttingen have now discovered that these photopigments fulfill an...
On 15 March, the AWI research aeroplane Polar 5 will depart for Greenland. Concentrating on the furthest northeast region of the island, an international team...
The world’s second-largest ice shelf was the destination for a Polarstern expedition that ended in Punta Arenas, Chile on 14th March 2018. Oceanographers from...
At the 2018 ILA Berlin Air Show from April 25–29, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT is showcasing extreme high-speed Laser Material Deposition (EHLA): A video documents how for metal components that are highly loaded, EHLA has already proved itself as an alternative to hard chrome plating, which is now allowed only under special conditions.
When the EU restricted the use of hexavalent chromium compounds to special applications requiring authorization, the move prompted a rethink in the surface...
At the ILA Berlin, hall 4, booth 202, Fraunhofer FHR will present two radar sensors for navigation support of drones. The sensors are valuable components in the implementation of autonomous flying drones: they function as obstacle detectors to prevent collisions. Radar sensors also operate reliably in restricted visibility, e.g. in foggy or dusty conditions. Due to their ability to measure distances with high precision, the radar sensors can also be used as altimeters when other sources of information such as barometers or GPS are not available or cannot operate optimally.
Drones play an increasingly important role in the area of logistics and services. Well-known logistic companies place great hope in these compact, aerial...
16.03.2018 | Event News
13.03.2018 | Event News
08.03.2018 | Event News
16.03.2018 | Earth Sciences
16.03.2018 | Physics and Astronomy
16.03.2018 | Life Sciences