About 25 miles beneath the Earths surface is a discrete boundary between the planets rocky crust and the mantle below that geologists call the Moho. But in the southern end of Californias San Joaquin Valley, the Moho just isnt there, reports a team of geologists.
The Sierra Nevada is composed of granite, the rock that shows up in this picture of Temple Crag and Second Lake in the eastern Sierra Nevada. (Photo credit: Mihai Ducea. Photo permission plus full-size images of this and other illustrations are available from the researchers.)
"The Moho is missing," said team leader George Zandt, a professor of geosciences at the University of Arizona in Tucson. Its the first report of such a disappearance in California.Zandt said the Moho vanished because of the drip.
Drip is the term geologists use for a place where the upper portion of the Earths mantle flows deeper into the mantle, pulling part of the overlying crust down with it. Seen in cross-section, a mantle drip looks like a drip of paint.
Mari N. Jensen | EurekAlert!
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