Monday, May 18, 2020

The hidden view ...

All of humanity resides on top of huge, invisible plates, constantly moving due to the internal heat engine of earth.

Researchers want to simulate the behaviour of the mantle.

This solid rock layer, which resides between the planet's core and crust, moves very slowly over time - roughly at the speed that a fingernail grows.

The scientists will investigate its complex pattern of upwellings and downwellings.

The team hopes its new circulation models will provide fresh insights into how the mantle has influenced the Earth's surface over hundreds of millions of years.

The impact of the constant motion of these plates goes beyond imagination.

A key target is to understand the upwellings that ultimately result in "hotspots" at the Earth's surface - the places where there have been colossal outpourings of lava and gas through geologic history.

"These are what we call the Large Igneous Provinces, or LIPs," explained Prof Davies.

"There hasn't been anything like this since the Columbia River flood basalts in North America just over 10 million years ago. So, they're rare. And thank goodness, because they can be absolutely catastrophic.

"The Siberian Traps which cover a large part of west Siberia match up with the largest extinction on Earth. A lot of the great extinction events are linked to these LIPs."

Seen below is a Cardiff University graphic detailing the 
heat distribution of earth driving the motion of plate since the beginning of time.

The hidden view indeed.

No comments: