…Evidence from Hawaii and Iceland hints that the planet’s core may be dispatching simultaneous plumes of magma towards the surface every 15 million years or so.
If the hypothesis is true, it would revolutionize our ideas of what’s happening far below our feet. Independent scientists contacted by New Scientist were split, with some scornful and others intrigued…
…Regular pulsing of plumes is not a new idea, but when the pair compared their results with similar pulsing in Hawaii, which also sits on a plume, they found a surprising correlation. Data collected by Emily Van Ark and Jian Lin of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Massachusetts, suggests that Hawaii’s plume pulses have coincided with Iceland’s (Marine Geophysical Research, DOI: 10.1007/s11001-009-9066-0).
“These two are on very different parts of the Earth, so I don’t think the synchrony could be related to something in the mantle,” says Mjelde. “It must relate to the core somehow. I can’t see any other possibility.” This would mean that the Earth’s core periodically heats up the overlying mantle, generating synchronised plumes that rise to the surface at widely separated spots.
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