Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Deep magmatic plumbing of mid-ocean ridges revealed

25.08.2005


New images suggest that the Earth’s lower oceanic crust is generated from multiple magma sources

Some of the highest quality images ever taken of the Earth’s lower crust reveal that the upper and lower crust form in two distinctly different ways. A team led by researchers from Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory will publish the results of their work in the August 25 issue of the journal Nature.

The Earth’s oceanic crust is formed from magma bodies located beneath mid-ocean ridges. Although axial magma chambers, magma bodies located in the mid-crust, are known to be responsible for generating the upper oceanic crust, it has so far been unclear if the lower crust is formed from the same source or if it primarily arises from deeper "magma lenses" -- smaller bodies located at or near the base of the crust.



Researchers from Lamont-Doherty as well as the Scripps Institution of Oceanography and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution collected seismic data of the oceanic crust beneath the seafloor off the coast of Washington, Oregon and northern California. To form the images, they analyzed sound waves that bounced off of structures deep in the Earth, a process similar to that of creating an ultrasound image. The resulting images are the first of their kind showing solidified lenses and sills, narrow lateral intrusions of magma, embedded within the crust/mantle boundary known as the Moho transition zone. The presence of such bodies that deep near a mid-ocean ridge suggests that the lower crust is at least partially formed from several smaller sources of magma rather than from a single large source located in the middle of the crust.

"This demonstrates quite strongly that the process of crustal formation is more complex than generally believed," said Mladen Nedimovic, lead author on the study and a Doherty Associate Research Scientist at Lamont-Doherty. "It also favors the emerging view that volcanoes have a complicated plumbing system consisting of many interconnected sills and magma conduits. We obviously still have a lot to learn about what goes on beneath the surface of the Earth."

Ken Kostel | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.columbia.edu
http://www.earth.columbia.edu
http://www.ldeo.columbia.edu

More articles from Earth Sciences:

nachricht Predicting unpredictability: Information theory offers new way to read ice cores
07.12.2016 | Santa Fe Institute

nachricht Sea ice hit record lows in November
07.12.2016 | University of Colorado at Boulder

All articles from Earth Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Electron highway inside crystal

Physicists of the University of Würzburg have made an astonishing discovery in a specific type of topological insulators. The effect is due to the structure of the materials used. The researchers have now published their work in the journal Science.

Topological insulators are currently the hot topic in physics according to the newspaper Neue Zürcher Zeitung. Only a few weeks ago, their importance was...

Im Focus: Significantly more productivity in USP lasers

In recent years, lasers with ultrashort pulses (USP) down to the femtosecond range have become established on an industrial scale. They could advance some applications with the much-lauded “cold ablation” – if that meant they would then achieve more throughput. A new generation of process engineering that will address this issue in particular will be discussed at the “4th UKP Workshop – Ultrafast Laser Technology” in April 2017.

Even back in the 1990s, scientists were comparing materials processing with nanosecond, picosecond and femtosesecond pulses. The result was surprising:...

Im Focus: Shape matters when light meets atom

Mapping the interaction of a single atom with a single photon may inform design of quantum devices

Have you ever wondered how you see the world? Vision is about photons of light, which are packets of energy, interacting with the atoms or molecules in what...

Im Focus: Novel silicon etching technique crafts 3-D gradient refractive index micro-optics

A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.

Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...

Im Focus: Quantum Particles Form Droplets

In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.

“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ICTM Conference 2017: Production technology for turbomachine manufacturing of the future

16.11.2016 | Event News

Innovation Day Laser Technology – Laser Additive Manufacturing

01.11.2016 | Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

Researchers identify potentially druggable mutant p53 proteins that promote cancer growth

09.12.2016 | Life Sciences

Scientists produce a new roadmap for guiding development & conservation in the Amazon

09.12.2016 | Ecology, The Environment and Conservation

Satellites, airport visibility readings shed light on troops' exposure to air pollution

09.12.2016 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>