Two recent studies have revealed the existence of two previously unknown layers in the mantle, the solid rock layer located between the Earth’s upper crust and lower core.
What are the New Studies Suggest About Hidden Mantle Layers?
Through the use of GPS sensors to study deep earthquakes, such as the 2018 Fiji earthquake of magnitude 8.2, researchers have discovered a low viscosity zone in the upper mantle, which is approximately 100 kilometers thick. Additionally, a second layer has been found, which is a partially molten layer situated beneath the tectonic plates and extends from 90 to 150 kilometers. Seismic wave analysis of earthquakes indicates that this layer has a higher temperature.
What is the Mantle Layer of Earth?
The mantle is an immense layer of solid rock that spans from the bottom of the Earth’s crust to the top of the core, measuring roughly 2,900 kilometers (1,800 miles) in thickness. It constitutes the majority of the Earth’s interior, encompassing approximately 84% of the planet’s volume and around 68% of its total mass.
It is composed of silicate rocks rich in iron and magnesium, and is divided into the upper and lower mantle.
The mantle is a vital component of the Earth’s composition, facilitating several geological processes that impact the planet’s surface, such as volcanic activity and plate tectonics. The transfer of heat between different temperature zones is driven by the mantle’s viscous properties, which govern convection.
The heat produced by the core is transported through the mantle, propelling the movement of the Earth’s tectonic plates on the planet’s surface.
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