Tag Archives: convection

Shutting Down the Plumes?

Near an Indian Ocean island that regularly exhausts smoke and lava, a group of scientists are trying to unravel one of the great mysteries of the Earth. Their riddle involves the planet’s largest basalt field, dinosaur extinction, and the birth … Continue reading

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When Tectonics Started

The Earth is the only planet known to have continents adrift. Scientists are rather certain that the drifting began about a billion years into Earth’s history. This means that for a thousand million years, the continents just sat there. Idle. … Continue reading

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Signs of Plate Tectonics on Europa – Ice Plates, that is.

There is a lot to like in this next story. Life may exist on an ice-world that glows red in the light of Jupiter’s torch. This is an interesting idea derived from NASA data that had been sitting on a … Continue reading

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Into Subduction

On some level, we are all into subduction. But not many of us apply for the license. If you sometimes follow Randall Munroe’s creative web comic xkcd, then you may have seen this comic. What does it mean? I’d like … Continue reading

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Zero Degrees of Kelvin

My book, The Mountain Mystery, is not kind to the great physicist Lord Kelvin. I feel a bit uneasy admitting that in my research on the brilliant fellow, I just could not get comfortable. I wouldn’t have been his friend. … Continue reading

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Earth’s Mid-life Crisis

Some researchers think the Earth went through a mid-age doldrum, a sleepy period of listless ennui. Its plates slowed down, they claim. Or maybe stopped churning completely. For about a billion years, (1.7-.75 bya) the planet was boring. No serious … Continue reading

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How Hot is Hot?

How Hot is Hot?  4,000 degrees K, according to new study.  Researchers at the Magma and Volcanoes Laboratory (CNRS U Blaise Pascal) and the European Synchrotron (ESRF) have collided to make sense of the really hot temperatures at the core-mantle … Continue reading

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