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.
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