Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Two-billion-year-old Surprise Found Beneath The Azores

21.11.2002


Geologists may have to revise their ideas about what goes on in the Earth’s interior, following the publication today of new research in the journal ’Nature’. It appears that contrary to previous belief, part of the interior has remained undisturbed for at least two-and-a-half billion years, in spite of the massive forces at work inside the planet.



Like a saucepan of thick syrup being heated on the stove, huge convection currents within the Earth, generated by heat from the core, have stirred up the interior for most of its four-and-a-half billion year history. This has led geologists to believe that the interior is now well mixed. But Dr Simon Turner and Professor Chris Hawkesworth from the Earth Sciences Department at Bristol University, with colleagues at the Open University, have new data that suggest the presence of extremely ancient material beneath the Azores.

The islands of the Azores are volcanoes that sit either side of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, a huge mountain chain beneath the ocean that formed as hot material from the Earth’’s interior rose to the surface. In some places, such as the Azores, the tops of these mountains form islands. The lavas from the Azores volcanoes appear to have been derived from some of the oldest material yet discovered within the convecting and well stirred part of the Earth.


One of the few ways to obtain information about the processes that go on in the Earth’’s interior is to analyse material that is brought up from these depths. The researchers therefore analysed the ratios of certain elements in the lavas that specifically characterise the source material they were derived from.

Dr Turner said: "The osmium ratios obtained in some of the Azores rocks are among the lowest ever seen in oceanic lavas. This indicates that the region from which the lavas were derived contained material that was left behind when continents were formed about two-and-a-half billion years ago. This depleted material was subsequently recycled back into the interior beneath the volcanic islands, where it has remained ever since."

The fact that such old material could reside in the Earth’’s interior for so long without being recycled will help inform new models about processes that go on inside the Earth.

Cherry Lewis | alfa
Further information:
http://www.bristol.ac.uk

More articles from Earth Sciences:

nachricht Monitoring lava lake levels in Congo volcano
16.05.2018 | Seismological Society of America

nachricht Ice stream draining Greenland Ice Sheet sensitive to changes over past 45,000 years
14.05.2018 | Oregon State University

All articles from Earth Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Explanation for puzzling quantum oscillations has been found

So-called quantum many-body scars allow quantum systems to stay out of equilibrium much longer, explaining experiment | Study published in Nature Physics

Recently, researchers from Harvard and MIT succeeded in trapping a record 53 atoms and individually controlling their quantum state, realizing what is called a...

Im Focus: Dozens of binaries from Milky Way's globular clusters could be detectable by LISA

Next-generation gravitational wave detector in space will complement LIGO on Earth

The historic first detection of gravitational waves from colliding black holes far outside our galaxy opened a new window to understanding the universe. A...

Im Focus: Entangled atoms shine in unison

A team led by Austrian experimental physicist Rainer Blatt has succeeded in characterizing the quantum entanglement of two spatially separated atoms by observing their light emission. This fundamental demonstration could lead to the development of highly sensitive optical gradiometers for the precise measurement of the gravitational field or the earth's magnetic field.

The age of quantum technology has long been heralded. Decades of research into the quantum world have led to the development of methods that make it possible...

Im Focus: Computer-Designed Customized Regenerative Heart Valves

Cardiovascular tissue engineering aims to treat heart disease with prostheses that grow and regenerate. Now, researchers from the University of Zurich, the Technical University Eindhoven and the Charité Berlin have successfully implanted regenerative heart valves, designed with the aid of computer simulations, into sheep for the first time.

Producing living tissue or organs based on human cells is one of the main research fields in regenerative medicine. Tissue engineering, which involves growing...

Im Focus: Light-induced superconductivity under high pressure

A team of scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg investigated optically-induced superconductivity in the alkali-doped fulleride K3C60under high external pressures. This study allowed, on one hand, to uniquely assess the nature of the transient state as a superconducting phase. In addition, it unveiled the possibility to induce superconductivity in K3C60 at temperatures far above the -170 degrees Celsius hypothesized previously, and rather all the way to room temperature. The paper by Cantaluppi et al has been published in Nature Physics.

Unlike ordinary metals, superconductors have the unique capability of transporting electrical currents without any loss. Nowadays, their technological...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Save the date: Forum European Neuroscience – 07-11 July 2018 in Berlin, Germany

02.05.2018 | Event News

Invitation to the upcoming "Current Topics in Bioinformatics: Big Data in Genomics and Medicine"

13.04.2018 | Event News

Unique scope of UV LED technologies and applications presented in Berlin: ICULTA-2018

12.04.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Supersonic waves may help electronics beat the heat

18.05.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Keeping a Close Eye on Ice Loss

18.05.2018 | Information Technology

CrowdWater: An App for Flood Research

18.05.2018 | Information Technology

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>