Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Mapping the Moho with GOCE

12.03.2012
The first global high-resolution map of the boundary between Earth’s crust and mantle – the Moho – has been produced based on data from ESA’s GOCE gravity satellite. Understanding the Moho will offer new clues into the dynamics of Earth’s interior.
Earth’s crust is the outermost solid shell of our planet. Even though it makes up less than 1% of the volume of the planet, the crust is exceptionally important not just because we live on it, but because is the place where all our geological resources like natural gas, oil and minerals come from.

Global Moho from GOCE

The crust and upper mantle is also the place where most geological processes of great importance occur, such as earthquakes, volcanism and orogeny.

Until just a century ago, we didn’t know Earth has a crust. In 1909, Croatian seismologist Andrija Mohorovièiæ found that at about 50 km underground there is a sudden change in seismic speed.

Ever since, that boundary between Earth’s crust and underlying mantle has been known as the Mohorovièiæ discontinuity, or Moho.

Even today, almost all we know about Earth’s deep layers comes from two methods: seismic and gravimetric.

Seismic methods are based on observing changes in the propagation velocity of seismic waves between the crust and mantle.

Gravimetry looks at the gravitational effect due to the density difference caused by the changing composition of crust and mantle.

But the Moho models based on seismic or gravity data are usually limited by poor data coverage or data being only available along single profiles.

The GOCE Exploitation for Moho Modelling and Applications project – or GEMMA – has now generated the first global high-resolution map of the boundary between Earth’s crust and mantle based on data from the GOCE satellite.

GOCE measures the gravity field and models the geoid with unprecedented accuracy to advance our knowledge of ocean circulation, which plays a crucial role in energy exchanges around the globe, sea-level change and Earth interior processes.

GEMMA’s Moho map is based on the inversion of homogenous well-distributed gravimetric data.

For the first time, it is possible to estimate the Moho depth worldwide with unprecedented resolution, as well as in areas where ground data are not available. This will offer new clues for understanding the dynamics of Earth’s interior, unmasking the gravitational signal produced by unknown and irregular subsurface density distribution.

GEMMA is being carried out by Italian scientist Daniele Sampietro, and is funded by the Politecnico di Milano and ESA’s Support To Science Element under the Changing Earth Science Network initiative.

This initiative supports young scientists at post-doctoral level in ESA Member States to advance our knowledge in Earth system science by exploiting the observational capacity of ESA missions.

Robert Meisner | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://ww.esa.int

All articles from Earth Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Unraveling the nature of 'whistlers' from space in the lab

A new study sheds light on how ultralow frequency radio waves and plasmas interact

Scientists at the University of California, Los Angeles present new research on a curious cosmic phenomenon known as "whistlers" -- very low frequency packets...

Im Focus: New interactive machine learning tool makes car designs more aerodynamic

Scientists develop first tool to use machine learning methods to compute flow around interactively designable 3D objects. Tool will be presented at this year’s prestigious SIGGRAPH conference.

When engineers or designers want to test the aerodynamic properties of the newly designed shape of a car, airplane, or other object, they would normally model...

Im Focus: Robots as 'pump attendants': TU Graz develops robot-controlled rapid charging system for e-vehicles

Researchers from TU Graz and their industry partners have unveiled a world first: the prototype of a robot-controlled, high-speed combined charging system (CCS) for electric vehicles that enables series charging of cars in various parking positions.

Global demand for electric vehicles is forecast to rise sharply: by 2025, the number of new vehicle registrations is expected to reach 25 million per year....

Im Focus: The “TRiC” to folding actin

Proteins must be folded correctly to fulfill their molecular functions in cells. Molecular assistants called chaperones help proteins exploit their inbuilt folding potential and reach the correct three-dimensional structure. Researchers at the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry (MPIB) have demonstrated that actin, the most abundant protein in higher developed cells, does not have the inbuilt potential to fold and instead requires special assistance to fold into its active state. The chaperone TRiC uses a previously undescribed mechanism to perform actin folding. The study was recently published in the journal Cell.

Actin is the most abundant protein in highly developed cells and has diverse functions in processes like cell stabilization, cell division and muscle...

Im Focus: Lining up surprising behaviors of superconductor with one of the world's strongest magnets

Scientists have discovered that the electrical resistance of a copper-oxide compound depends on the magnetic field in a very unusual way -- a finding that could help direct the search for materials that can perfectly conduct electricity at room temperatur

What happens when really powerful magnets--capable of producing magnetic fields nearly two million times stronger than Earth's--are applied to materials that...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Within reach of the Universe

08.08.2018 | Event News

A journey through the history of microscopy – new exhibition opens at the MDC

27.07.2018 | Event News

2018 Work Research Conference

25.07.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Staying in Shape

16.08.2018 | Life Sciences

Diving robots find Antarctic seas exhale surprising amounts of carbon dioxide in winter

16.08.2018 | Earth Sciences

Protein droplets keep neurons at the ready and immune system in balance

16.08.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>